Gaza: Food distribution between skeleton houses

Monday, January 19, 2009

No bombs are falling over Gaza today and aid workers are now working hard to distribute food and medicine to the affected population living in the aftermath of 22 days of war. ACT International is operating two clinics with queues of patients and more than 15,000 displaced people are targeted for food distribution in the coming days. The distribution of dry canned food, water and medicine can now be done with significantly less risk, and the aid workers hope that the ceasefire will hold.

Patients queue
Gaza459-S6300052.jpgThe Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees had one of its clinics bombed in an Israeli air strike last weekend. Two clinics remain, in Rafah and Daraj, and both are working at full capacity. The medical staff of the destroyed Shija’ia clinic has joined their colleagues in Daraj and is assisting with the efforts there. The expected visits of the patients and families are in huge numbers considering that the hospitals and tertiary care institutions are still coping with the injuries of the war.

Water from Coca Cola
ACT field staff worked till midnight Sunday by unloading 40,000 packages of nutritional biscuits for immediate use at the clinics. In coordination with the Coca Cola Company, that offset half of the cost, 100,000 liters of clean water from Jericho will be shipped to Gaza. The bottles will be distributed via the two clinics. Milk powder is also on the way. Ten tons has arrived in Gaza ready to be mixed with water.

Food during the war
Life is slowly returning to Gaza but the humanitarian needs remain high as people try to adjust to the new realities on the ground. ACT has succeeded to provide the Palestinians at the Gaza Strip with food medicines, also during the war. Last week, 23,000 liters of milk was distributed in Gaza, as well as an estimated 230,000 high-protein biscuits for children and lactating mothers. The distribution was carried out under very difficult circumstances by International Orthodox Christian Charities staff members. All materials sent with last week's shipments have been distributed by YMCA staff in the Gaza office and via the two hospitals and two schools.