Unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Gaza

DCA is increasingly concerned that the depleting food stocks will lead to a market collapse with catastrophic implications.

© Ritzau Scanpix

One month into the war between Hamas and Israel a humanitarian crisis of historic proportions is unfolding in the Gaza strip.

Hundreds of thousands have no potable water and the UN estimates that supplies such as rice and oil will run dry in a matter of days. Hospitals depend on emergency generators that provide only a few hours of electricity daily – just enough to carry out the most critical activities. And power cuts mean that communication with the world outside Gaza is going from extremely difficult to virtually impossible – including for DCA staff inside Gaza.

Everything is in short supply in Gaza and the situation gets graver by the day. Enormous humanitarian needs mix with rising tension in the civilian population and a tragedy at an unprecedented scale is developing in Gaza.

We are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis in an area where the population was already under severe pressure. There is nowhere to seek refuge and there is nowhere to get help. The crisis will only escalate if a humanitarian corridor is not quickly established – and aid is allowed in.
Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen, Secretary General

Food stocks are depleting

DanChurchAid is trying to meet immediate needs by acquiring and distributing food and drinking water in Gaza but stocks are depleting rapidly.

What we do manage to purchase is shipped and distributed from a UN school in southern Gaza in collaboration with volunteers at the school.

Our aid in Gaza has so far been distributed directly to families, women, children, and pregnant women.

The storage facility of a vendor we recently purchased food items from has been bombed and all the essential foods pulverised. For a week our staff monitored the situation waiting for a small window of safety to transport the food items. That window never came.
Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen, Secretary General

And generally, food is getting more and more scarce in the whole of Gaza. Not a single one of 15 supermarkets surveyed has any remaining food items. 

DCA is increasingly concerned that the depleting food stocks will lead to a market collapse with catastrophic implications.

Much larger volumes of aid – and commercial cargo – need to enter to maintain a minimum of market stability. And to feed the many displaced people in Gaza.

Why we send humanitarian aid to Gaza

DanChurchAid is a humanitarian organization. We work where the need for help is greatest worldwide.

Both in the West Bank and in Gaza, the local population has been affected by deep poverty and significant humanitarian issues for years. That is why we have been involved in humanitarian work in Palestine since 1954.

We do not take sides in the current conflict.

As a humanitarian organization, our focus is on providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in a conflict that is currently costing lives.

What is DanChurchAid doing right now?

We are trying to source food and other items locally in Gaza as supplies are next to imossible to get in. As soon as shops can re-stock, or trucks are allowed to enter Gaza with humanitarian aid, we will continue to distribute it to the many civilians who have left their homes in Gaza and sought refuge elsewhere in Gaza, including in schools.

Does DanChurchAid work in both Israel and Palestine?

DanChurchAid is a humanitarian organization, and our focus is on the humanitarian needs of the civilian population. Our humanitarian support goes to civilians and people in need in the West Bank and Gaza.

We collaborate with both Israeli and Palestinian civil society organisations.

Israel is not a developing country but one of the world’s wealthiest nations.

Palestine, on the other hand, is a poor developing country with significant humanitarian needs, both in the West Bank and Gaza. According to the UN, nearly 70% of Gaza’s population needs assistance to put food on the table, and with the current conflict, that need is significantly greater.

There is a lack of water, food, shelter, and much more.

DanChurchAid does not support Hamas or other terrorist organizations. As a humanitarian organization, we do not take sides in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Our position is that a civilian population should never be punished for what their government or armed groups do in a conflict.

Does DanChurchAid support Hamas and other terrorists?

No, we do not support terrorists. We do not take sides in the conflict but work on a humanitarian basis. We – and the entire humanitarian community – operate with clear procedures on how we use our funds and how we ensure that our aid reaches those in need.

A civilian population should never be punished for what their government or armed groups do in a conflict, such as the one currently unfolding.

How can you support?

If you are in Denmark and wish to support DCA’s humanitarian efforts in the Gaza strip, please go to our Danish website.

DanChurchAid in Palestine

DCA’s work in Palestine started in 1954 – and in 2008 we opened a DCA Palestine office. We work through local organizations, providing both short-term humanitarian aid and more long-term initiatives.

We work in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel through local civil society organisations with funding from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EU on everything from short-term humanitarian aid to more long-term efforts.

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