Did you know that 47% of households in Gaza don’t know where their next meal will come from?
Since March 30, over 40 Palestinian protesters, including 5 children, have been killed and over a thousand injured, among them hundreds of children who were attacked with live ammunition. Participation in a demonstration does not constitute an act of hostility or direct endangerment of life, and certainly is not a justification to use live fire. What is happening is an abhorrent violation of humanitarian law and those responsible should be held responsible. It’s heartbreaking to think that during a time of reflection, peacefulness, and devotion to faith, our children in Palestine could suffer without food through the hot days and long Ramadan nights, while we’re eating our fill.
80% of Palestinians in Gaza rely on humanitarian aid for food, while budgets are being slashed for the global programs they rely on! (Oxfam, 2016)
The protests reflect growing frustration and despair as Gaza becomes unlivable. The situation will further erode as a result of massive cuts to UNRWA imposed by the current US administration. The infrastructure and delivery of services such as sewage treatment are threadbare.
Health services in Gaza are on the brink of collapse while blackouts lasting 18-20 hours have forced the closure of some health facilities. Over one million children are vulnerable to waterborne diseases with 96% of potable water “unfit for human consumption” according to the World Health Organization. More than half of these children are suffering from post-traumatic stress, including fears, anxiety, and nightmares. One of the mothers of our beneficiaries reports that her 8-year-old child, Amer, “screams while sleeping.”
Our upcoming Ramadan Farmers’ project will provide badly needed work and nourishment for over 2500 families. Many of our farmers who live near the border “fence” have risked their lives in preparation for the distribution next week, with some being injured by live ammunition.
Not only do our farmers and women’s’ cooperatives prepare for the families who will benefit from the distribution, they are also thinking about their own children who are equally suffering.
Children are every society’s most precious natural resource. Palestinian families are no different. The cruelty in Gaza is hard to witness from a distance. What must it be like on the ground?
Please help us reach as many families this Ramadan as possible. Our work is only possible with your support. May you experience the blessings of Ramadan that come with giving generously to those in need.