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Offering a Hand to Gazans in a Time of Great Suffering: How You Can Help

October 20, 2023

Israeli airstrikes in Gaza have resulted in an immense loss of life and an alarming breadth of destruction. Around 70 percent of the victims are elderly individuals, children, and women. Approximately 1,300 individuals, 600 of whom are minors, remain buried beneath the rubble in Gaza. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, as of 7 October, the numbers are as follows: 4,079 fatalities and more than 15,000 injuries in Gaza; 62 fatalities and 1,250 injuries occurred in the occupied West Bank.

The United Nations issued an urgent appeal on Thursday, 12 October, for USD 294 million (EGP 9 billion) in order to provide humanitarian aid to the populations residing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

According to a press release from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), this sum is intended to assist more than 1.2 million people in Gaza and the West Bank.

Humanitarian organizations no longer possess the resources necessary to “adequately respond to the needs of vulnerable Palestinians,” the office warned.

As the water shortage and deteriorating sewage system in Gaza exacerbate the risk of communicable diseases, the situation grows perilous. Palestinian Health Minister Mai Al Kaila emphasized the severe shortage of medicine and the difficulty in accessing hospitals in a recent statement.

The Gaza petroleum crisis is also critical, especially with regard to hospitals. Due to a lack of petroleum for emergency generators, certain departments at Al Shifa Hospital have been forced to close, and additional hospitals are in danger of closing as well. A number of northern hospitals had to shut down in the early days of Israeli bombardment on account of safety concerns prompted by Israeli threats.

Reports describe overwhelmed doctors who had to perform surgeries on floors and in halls, often without anesthesia. They urgently need equipment, medicine, beds, anesthesia, and essential supplies to continue their life-saving work.

The Israeli airstrikes targeting the Rafah border crossing on the Gaza side, which is the sole passage connecting the strip to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, have disrupted the distribution of humanitarian assistance to Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants.

In addition, Israeli news source N12 stated that Israel had communicated to Egypt its intention to attack any aid convoys entering Gaza through the Rafah crossing. As a result, as reported by the Israeli media outlet, Egyptian fuel trucks that were scheduled to enter the Gaza Strip via Rafah decided to withdraw from the crossing.

As of this moment, millions of dollars worth of aid and UN relief teams stand at the Egyptian side of the border, awaiting the green light from the Israeli side to cross to the enclave.

The trucks carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians wait for the green light to enter Gaza in Al Arish. Photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer

News has been circulating that Israel has agreed to open the crossing to deliver humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza in light of United States President Joe Biden’s visit on 18 October. However, the border remains closed to aid.

Here are some of the organizations working in Gaza that are accepting donations.

Aid Foundations

Palestinian Red Crescent Society

Since the onset of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society Gaza has been tirelessly operating on the ground with limited resources to provide assistance to the civilian victims of the attacks.

Contributions can be made here.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA)

Once humanitarian aid enters Gaza, UNWRA’s Gaza Emergency Appeal initiated by UNWRA will provide much-needed food and non-food items for Palestinians in need.

You can donate here.

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

The AFSC is asking for contributions to provide critical humanitarian aid and bolster the ongoing initiatives aimed at ending the conflict, tackling its underlying issues, and creating an environment conducive to peace.

Contributions can be made through their official website.

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF)

The PCRF stands as one of the main humanitarian organizations in Palestine, delivering critical and life-saving medical assistance and humanitarian relief where it is most required. Access to fundamental necessities such as food, clean water, and healthcare is significantly restricted.

The humanitarian organization’s mission is to guarantee that more than one million children in Gaza access the urgent care they require.

You can donate here.

Islamic Relief

Despite the ongoing conflict, Islamic Relief’s teams are on the ground, ready to assist Gazans. They are focusing on delivering life-saving care in areas where the healthcare system is strained due to staff shortages and a shortage of medical supplies.

Contributions can be made on their official website.

Egyptian Food Bank

The Egyptian Food Bank has initiated an urgent humanitarian relief campaign to assist affected citizens in Gaza by providing them with essential food supplies.

Contributions can be made here.

Al Mezan

Established in 1999, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights is an independent, non-partisan NGO in the Gaza Strip dedicated to upholding human rights, especially economic, social, and cultural rights. They offer aid to victims of violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws, while also promoting democracy, community involvement, citizen participation, and the rule of law in Gaza, a part of the occupied Palestinian territory.

You can donate here.

Egyptian Red Crescent

The Egyptian Red Crescent has been playing a vital role since the beginning of the humanitarian crisis that involves facilitating humanitarian corridors and amplifying the voices of those in need in alignment with the Egyptian government’s calls for assistance. Over 250 tons of aid have been prepared by the Egyptian Red Crescent and partner organizations.

The Egyptian Red Crescent Society received aid from Jordan for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Gaza. Egypt is coordinating with international bodies to provide relief and humanitarian assistance amid ongoing Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, designating Al Arish International Airport as the point for receiving international aid.

Donations can be made on their official website.

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