ActionAid Ireland launches urgent appeal for support for Gaza and other countries devastated by conflict and crisis around the world.

  • Date: 08/07/2024
  • Author: ActionAid Ireland
Displaced Palestinians set up tents on a beach, near Deir el-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip

ActionAid Ireland has launched an urgent appeal for vital support for the people of Palestine who have been living through horror since the start of the Gaza conflict nine months ago.

ActionAid Ireland CEO, Karol Balfe, said it is also important we don’t forget needs in other countries around the world suffering the devastating consequences of conflict and other crisis including Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Lebanon.

Ms Balfe said a stark reminder of the horrors the people of Gaza are going through came over the weekend with the Israeli air strike on a UN-run school at Nuseirat refugee camp in central sheltering thousands of displaced people. 16 people are reported to have been killed.

Ms Balfe said despite huge challenges with supplies getting through to the stricken region due to Israeli border blockades, limited food, water and medical aid is beginning to reach people in need.

“Our brave ActionAid partners and staff based in the region have told us exactly what the communities need – food parcels, water, medicine, emergency tents, hygiene packages, warm blankets, sanitary pads and more. ActionAid, through our local partners, have direct access to ensure donations go straight to those most in need. These donations can help save the lives of babies, children, mothers and fathers who have been living in hell.” 

She said:

“Action Aid has been in Palestine since 1993. Our staff and partners are part of the local community. They know the dangers, the challenges – and the solutions. But they urgently need help. They are witnessing horrific suffering and destruction daily and are telling us that the best practical action from people in Ireland is to donate money so vital supplies can get to those who are starving, living in shelters, and terrified that the next bomb strike will kill them and their families. No amount is too small.”

Ms Balfe said the conflict in Gaza is only one of many humanitarian emergencies around the world due to war, climate destruction, migration, hunger and  inequality.

“ActionAid staff are on the ground in more than 60 countries working directly with women and children to provide life-saving aid and access to the support services they need.”

Ms Balfe said while the epic scale of the devastation in Gaza affects everyone, it has been especially brutal for women and children who account for 72% of civilian deaths.  Over half of Gaza’s population are children and many will require lifelong care because they’ve had to endure trauma, loss, injuries and amputations without anaesthesia.  Countless children are now completely on their own having lost their mam and dad, their brothers and sisters.

An estimated 183 women are giving birth daily in Gaza. Most are now homeless and will not have access to midwives, doctors, or healthcare facilities during or after delivery. In addition, as in all situations of violence, ActionAid is receiving reports of women and girls being humiliated, raped and assaulted.

Ms Balfe said:

“Pregnant women need a varied, nutritious diet to keep themselves and their babies healthy, but many women in Gaza have nothing to eat at all. The lack of food is having a major impact on their ability to give birth safely and to breastfeed their newborn babies, many of whom are born dangerously underweight.” 

Ms Balfe said the lack of food and malnutrition is everywhere.

“The world is witnessing something truly shocking never seen before – a deliberate man-made famine. The reality is malnutrition in infants and children stunts brain development and the damage can’t be reversed.
Amidst all of the killing and hardship ActionAid Palestine is working around the clock in highly dangerous circumstances reaching tens of thousands of people in dire need. Our Palestinian brothers and sisters come from families just like ours. They hurt, they love, they have the same dreams and ambitions for their children that we have.”

She added the only solution to the crisis in Gaza is for a permanent ceasefire and for enough supplies to get into the area to serve all the needs.

From Gaza: A mother and a doctor’s perspective

One new mother Abeer who was pregnant with twins lost one during the pregnancy due to poor health and moving from one place to another. She  has just given birth to the other twin at Al-Awda Hospital by caesarean section.

She told ActionAid:

 “I suffered a lot during pregnancy and throughout childbirth. I was pregnant at the beginning of the war and during the war we could not find food. During my pregnancy follow-up, I discovered that I was pregnant with twins. The other twin had died due to health conditions and movement from one place to another.” 

She added:

“I gave birth by caesarean section and I fear that I will not find food [so I will be] able to breastfeed my baby. Women who have given birth need food and nourishment and this is non existent in the Gaza Strip. I fear that I will not be able to breastfeed the newborn due to the circumstances, as there is no food.” 

Doctor Aaliyah who works in ActionAid’s partner Al-Awda Hospital in Rafah has reported that baby formula for infants is practically impossible to get.

She said:

This is a huge crisis as many new mothers don’t have enough food to produce milk and feed their babies. Catastrophic injuries and death are everywhere. Before the war, we cared for 10 or 11 babies in intensive care. But today we are treating 70 babies. There are 3 or 4 babies sharing each incubator run on an emergency generator. And fuel is about to run out.”

➡Despite the restrictions on aid and the desperate need for more aid, Action Aid Palestine and our partners are continuing to adapt and operate – we reached over 195,000 with humanitarian relief in Gaza.

🔗Read more and find out how you can help today here.

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