Portland, OR (PRWEB) July 24, 2014
Mercy Corps is delivering humanitarian assistance to thousands of Gazan families displaced by the current conflict. With 87 team members on the ground and an established network of community-based organizations, the agency has the largest on-the-ground humanitarian presence in the Gaza Strip, next to the United Nations. Since the start of the conflict, more than 120,000 people have fled their homes to avoid the intense fighting.
“Families are seeking safety wherever they can find it, often in schools, unfinished apartment buildings, empty commercial buildings and warehouses,” says Stuart Willcuts, Mercy Corps’ emergency response team leader for Gaza. “Under incredibly challenging circumstances, our staff is doing whatever they can to reach civilians in need.”
Families are receiving canned meat and beans, rice, powdered milk and cooking oil, as well as household necessities such as blankets, wet wipes, disposable diapers, soap, hygiene products, toothpaste and toothbrushes. By early next week, the agency aims to begin distributions of medical kits for hospitals and clinics in Gaza.
“About 80 percent of Gaza’s population is dependent on external assistance, and the current conflict is intensifying the effects of already existing shortages,” says Willcuts. “Thanks to expedited funding from the U.S. Administration, we will be able reach tens of thousands more women, men and children in the coming days with the food and other supplies they urgently need.”
Mercy Corps, which has been working in Gaza since the 1980s, has joined with other international aid organizations in a call for a lasting cease-fire and efforts to find more durable solutions to the conflict that would lead to a just and sustainable peace.
To support Mercy Corps’ response to the Gaza crisis, donate at http://www.mercycorps.org/donate.