WAUK Newsletter 23/10/2014

 

It has been an incredibly busy last few months at WA-UK. We have been responding to the humanitarian crisis during and following the devastating conflict in Gaza as well as continuing to support the vulnerable Palestinian refugees from Syria, living in very difficult conditions in Lebanon. Here is a round-up of some of the work that we have been doing recently.

1. Responding to Gaza Crisis

Gaza total rubble cropped.jpgSevere destruction to several homes and key buildings in Gaza
The Israeli military assault on Gaza, which began on 7th of July 2014 and lasted seven weeks, was one of the worst attacks on Gaza in recent years and has taken the lives of over 2,200 Palestinians, of whom one quarter were children. More than 11,000 Palestinians, were badly injured with the possibility of permanent disability and there is widespread destruction and devastating damage to key infrastructure and buildings, including the main power plant, water and sanitation systems and over 20,000 homes have been destroyed or severely damaged, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless. Prior to the conflict, 80% of Gazans were already aid dependent and the population was already suffering from high unemployment rates of 34%, lack of access to adequate water and sanitation facilities and chronic medical and fuel shortages in  hospitals, as a result of  the ongoing blockade imposed by Israel.

 

Throughout this humanitarian crisis and since the ceasefire Welfare Association has been providing urgent support to emergency services and to some of the worst affected families in Gaza. So far we have provided:

  • 259,000 litre of fuel to hospitals and ambulances.
  • $600,000 in medicine and medical supplies to 10 hospitals and health centres.
    Post-surgery care for young patient at PAS Hospital.jpgPost-surgery care for young patient in Gaza
  • 35,000 families with food packages.
  • 65,000 mattresses and pillows distributed to families in need.
  • 22,000 families with hygiene kits.
  • 11 water tanks for 8 shelters.
  • 6,400 litres of water to families
  • 23,000 hot meals for the injured at 5 hospitals.
  • 1,400 fishermen families with packages of emergency basic supplies.
  • Primary healthcare services through 3 mobile clinics targeting displaced families supporting more than 6,000 cases.
  • 1,200 families with basic kitchenware kits.

Read more on our work in Gaza here

There are still many vulnerable families in Gaza who have lost their homes, have been injured, lost family members and are struggling to secure their basic food needs and necessary health services. If you would like to help support these families please Click Here

 

2. Supporting Palestinian Refugees living in Lebanon

Family receiving vouchers.jpgFamily receiving their emergency food vouchers
In Lebanon, we have continued providing support to the Palestinian refugees who have fled the crisis in Syria and are now living in the camps and gatherings in Lebanon. One of the projects we have just completed supported families living in Burj Al Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut. We provided 150 families with monthly emergency food vouchers for three months. 120 of these families were Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) and 30 were some of the most vulnerable host Palestinian refugee families (PRL; Palestinian refugees from Lebanon), sharing their cramped homes and meagre resources with refugees from Syria.

All the families received vouchers each month to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables and fresh meat. Voucher were exchanged at pre-qualified suppliers and designed to be able to be spent at any point over the coming month allowing greater independence and flexibility. Fresh fruit, vegetables and meat were items that had been identified as severely lacking in the diets of the refugee community and this provision therefore also served to improve nutritional intake and health.

 

3. MPs historic vote to recognise Palestine

MPs voting in the House of Commons.jpgMPs voting in the House of Commons
On Tuesday 14th October the MPs voted in the House of Commons in favour of recognising Palestine as a state. The non-binding vote was supported by 274 MPs with 12 voting against it. MPs on all sides urged the Government to ‘recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel’ as part of a ‘contribution to securing a negotiated two state solution.’

The Conservative Middle East Council noted that “...although less than half of MPs took part in the vote, the result, 274 to 12, is symbolic but could have international implications.”

If you would like to read the full official transcript of the debate in the British parliament, it can be found here (begins on page 39)