Christian Aid is sounding the alarm over the severe limitations imposed on humanitarian organizations in providing aid to Gaza.
This warning comes in the wake of the United Nations’ confirmation that only 56 trucks entered Gaza on October 31st, a stark contrast to the usual average of 500 truckloads that entered Gaza daily before the recent hostilities. The UN asserts that a minimum of 500 trucks is necessary to sustain the population of Gaza.
Additionally, Christian Aid expresses concern about the dwindling effectiveness of monetary aid as local resources become scarce. The Head of Middle East Policy and Advocacy at Christian Aid highlights the impact of violence on civilians and humanitarian workers, emphasizing that nobody is safe. Despite the challenging circumstances, Christian Aid’s partners in Gaza continue to perform remarkable work, offering assistance in extreme conditions.
Cash transfers, facilitated through the functioning local banking system, have played a crucial role in aiding displaced individuals in Khan Younis, providing mobile medical and psychological care, and supporting a small group of Christians taking refuge in Saint Porphyrius church. However, Christian Aid warns that these cash transfers will soon lose their effectiveness due to the scarcity of local goods. They stress that only unrestricted humanitarian access, along with the restoration of fuel, water, and electricity, can address the needs of the two million Palestinians in Gaza.
The Head of Middle East Policy and Advocacy at Christian Aid underlines the necessity of a full ceasefire, rather than a temporary pause, to ensure the safe and effective delivery of humanitarian support on the scale required. This support includes the provision of fuel, which is critical for the operation of essential services.
As with other humanitarian workers, Christian Aid’s staff in Gaza have faced personal losses, displacement, and damage to their offices and equipment due to the ongoing conflict. These adverse conditions have severely limited their ability to move around and provide vital aid.
Dr. Hassan, who manages the chronic disease center for Christian Aid’s local partner, the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), is among those facing the challenges of delivering healthcare in these difficult circumstances. Dr. Hassan’s responsibilities have expanded to include working with PMRS’ mobile health team, which delivers medicine and conducts home visits to change dressings for the wounded.
Speaking from Gaza, Dr. Hassan reveals the unique difficulties presented by the current crisis: “I have lived through many wars in Gaza. But this war is not the same. We have lost a lot of doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. Many healthcare workers have been killed by bombs and rockets hitting their homes.”
The indiscriminate targeting of populated areas, including bakeries, hospitals, and homes, has resulted in widespread destruction and casualties, further complicating humanitarian efforts.
Dr. Hassan also underscores the critical role of fuel in Gaza, warning that if fuel supplies run out entirely, it will lead to a catastrophic situation. The consequences are especially dire for patients in intensive care units who rely on ventilators, which will cease functioning without electricity. Hospitals, in such circumstances, could become places where patients are sent only to the morgue.
The ongoing violence, displacement, and destruction have put the lives of both civilians and humanitarian workers at risk. Christian Aid emphasizes the urgent need for a full ceasefire to ensure the safe and effective delivery of humanitarian support, including fuel, at the scale required to assist the two million Palestinians in Gaza.