One month on from the conflict in Gaza, Islamic Relief (IR) has distributed $3 million worth of emergency medical and food aid to the desperate people of Gaza,
IR began its emergency operation in Gaza just hours after the first bombs dropped on 27 December 2008. IR’s aid teams continued to deliver aid even during the height of the conflict.
The international agency has distributed food to 200,000 people sheltering in hospitals and school buildings at a cost of $1 million. Aid workers also delivered $1.5 million of emergency medical equipment including ambulances, heart machines and medication to Gaza’s main Al Shifa Hospital and five other hospitals.
Since IR launched its Gaza appeal it has raised over $17 million worldwide. The charity is planning to spend a further $3 million in the coming two months on providing emergency relief and long term development in Gaza.
Food and clean water are still in short supply in Gaza, and the health system is under huge strain. IR is scaling up its aid work on the ground planning to distribute food to 100,000 people for two months. A further $500,000 will be spent buying medical equipment to Gaza’s hospitals.
Mohammed Al Sousi, Country Director for IR Palestine said, “It’s as if a hurricane has swept through the streets of Gaza there is so much destruction. Many people have lost everything they owned and are homeless, hungry and in desperate need of emergency relief including food and clean water.
The three week conflict has had a serious impact on the psychological well being of the population of Gaza especially children. IR has already been running a psychosocial project in Gaza with children in partnership with the Catholic Agency for Oversees Development (CAFOD). More than half of Gaza’s 1.5 million population are children.
"Many children have lost family, friends and their homes. These children are in urgent need of psychosocial support to help them deal with the trauma of what they have experienced. Islamic Relief is planning to provide more than 5,000 children and families with emergency psychosocial support", said Mohammed Al Sousi, Country Director for IR Palestine.
IR is a member of the Disasters and Emergency Committee (DEC). For more information on the DEC please visit http://www.dec.org.uk.
For more information on the situation in Gaza or to arrange an interview with IR aid workers in Gaza call:
Jamsheed Din on: +44 (0) 7720 451 310 Or +44 (0) 121 622 0663
Helen Mould on: +44 (0) 7855 499 645 or +44 (0) 121 622 0719