Emergency appeal launched in response to acute humanitarian needs in Gaza

Published: 23 November 2012 19:58 CET

The Palestine Red Crescent Society is calling for international and national donations to support its response activities following the escalation of the Gaza crisis.

The airstrikes have put an additional strain onto the National Society’s and local health authorities’ capacities to cope with the large numbers of wounded.

Gaza has also been suffering from a chronic shortage of essential drugs and disposables. Before 14 of November, 30 per cent of essential drugs and 60 per cent of disposable were not available in the Gaza strip.

In addition, several houses have been damaged or destroyed, although direct needs assessment has been difficult so far due to movement restrictions.

“We are running an assessment of house destruction with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). By Sunday we should be able to have a better view of the damages. For now our estimations are that over 1,000 houses have been destroyed and a important number of people have been displaced because of the conflict,” says Dr Khaleel Abu Foul, head of the disaster management unit at the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

The emergency appeal will support the vital work of staff and volunteers in assisting vulnerable people and communities by providing health and care, emergency medical services, distribution of non-food items and psychosocial support.

Since the beginning of the crisis, 200 volunteers from the organization have been working around the clock to provide assistance and support to those in need or in difficult and dangerous situations.

Dr Younis Al Khateeb, President of the Palestine Red Crescent Society, said: “We are calling on our Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and all external partners to help us so we can deliver our lifesaving services to the people affected by the crisis.”

On 18 November, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) allocated CHF492,243 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to support the National Society in its mission to provide lifesaving emergency medical services throughout the Gaza Strip, ensuring proper treatment for the wounded in health facilities and allowing it to immediately expand its aid to those affect by the violence.

The IFRC has not been requested to launch an international emergency appeal for this operation, rather partners and donors are encouraged to support the Palestine Red Crescent Society emergency appeal directly.  The emergency appeal document can be downloaded from the following link:  http://www.palestinercs.org/reports/PRCS-Gaza-Appeal2012.pdf

To facilitate the channeling of international assistance to the National Society, the IFRC can receive funds only through its annual Appeal for Palestine, and will transfer these to the organization on the basis of cash transfer, against an approved plan and budget.