Note: The following appeal is now closed. You can support our ongoing work by donating to the Canadian Red Cross
The hostilities in Gaza have had a tragic impact upon its population. It is estimated that more than 1,300 Palestinians have been killed, some 5,500 injured and 20,000 houses destroyed or damaged. There is now an urgent need for medical supplies and equipment, emergency shelter and household items to alleviate the suffering in what the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has described as a ‘full blown humanitarian crisis’.
The ICRC reminds the parties to the hostilities that international humanitarian law requires that a clear distinction be drawn between military objectives and the civilian population and civilian objects. In particular, the ICRC underlines the obligation of the parties to take all feasible precautions to spare the civilian population the effects of hostilities. Medical facilities and personnel must also be protected.
Red Cross response
The International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement (ICRC) is at the forefront of the humanitarian response, able to act because it is understood to be a strictly politically neutral, impartial and independent intermediary that seeks to meet unmet humanitarian need.
The ICRC and Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) continue to provide emergency care in the Gaza Strip to patients that require post-operative care including amputee orthodics and psychosocial support. They are also providing relief items such as temporary shelter to those whose homes have been destroyed.
The Magen David Adom (National Society of Israel) is continuing to provide medical services in southern Israel to people affected by the rockets launched from Gaza.
In support of the Red Cross Movement response, the Government of Canada has provided $1 million to the ICRC and the Canadian Red Cross has provided $75,000 from its International Disaster Response Fund to the PRCS. Contributions are supporting the Red Cross Movement entities which are active and where the needs are greatest.
Canadians wishing to help support Red Cross Movement Gaza response efforts are encouraged to contribute by calling 1-800-418-1111 or contacting their local Red Cross office. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Gaza Crisis” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.
In-kind donations of food, clothing and other items, while well intentioned, are not the best way to help those in need. There are tremendous processing and transportation costs involved in shipping these items to beneficiaries. Local purchases of food and clothing are more culturally appropriate and effective. Red Cross supplies can be purchased in the immediate area, thereby reducing transportation costs. Cash transfers to the affected region provide the optimum flexibility to our Red Cross colleagues so they can meet the most urgent needs.