WelCom February 2024
After 100 days of conflict in the Israel-Hamas war, the entire population of Gaza faces a growing risk of famine, says Caritas Australia.
Since the conflict began, more than 23,000 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis have been killed, with over two-thirds of the casualties being women and children. At least 70 per cent of all housing in Gaza has been damaged or destroyed and only 13 of its 36 hospitals remain partially functioning. The Gaza Strip also remains under an electricity blackout.
In the West Bank, thousands of people have lost their jobs or had work permits go unrenewed, with those who used to work in Israel also losing income sources as they can no longer cross checkpoints.
Caritas Australia said its partner agencies are working with an existing network of supermarkets to distribute supplies from Rafah and Deir el-Balah. Work is also being undertaken with the World Food Programme, leading to the distribution of 3,380 food parcels to families.
‘Food deprivation in Gaza has reached extreme levels with the entire population at imminent risk of famine,’ said Sally Thomas, humanitarian emergencies lead at Caritas Australia.
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand says on its website ‘Gaza’s entire population is experiencing severe shortages of electricity, water, fuel, food, and medicine.
‘Caritas Jerusalem staff are continuing to provide basic food, water and medical services in extremely difficult circumstances. Some staff have remained in northern Gaza to serve the needs of people in shelters, using supplies available from the damaged Caritas Jerusalem health centre in Gaza City.’
Caritas staff are also working in southern Gaza where many of the 1.7 million internally displaced people have relocated to.
Caritas International is a confederation of over 160 Catholic relief and development organisations. Donations to support the work of Caritas in Gaza can be made online: www.caritas.org.nz/where-we-work/holy-land
See Letter from the West Bank, Br Peter Bray.
See Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand supporting Holy Land humanitarian crisis.