Note: The original statement was updated July 21, 2014 to reflect updates to Mercy Corps' ongoing emergency response in Gaza.
Mercy Corps has activated our emergency response plan in Gaza. As violence has escalated over the past two weeks, our team has focused on developing a plan to safely reach those in need with humanitarian aid.
With 87 team members on the ground and a network of over 50 community-based organizations, Mercy Corps currently has the largest humanitarian aid presence in Gaza, next to the U.N., and we are on track to provide food and other essential items to an estimated 40,000 people.
Our experienced local staff is reporting that humanitarian aid delivery has been complicated by the current fighting, but we are doing our utmost to reach civilians in desperate need of assistance.
Since the 1980s, Mercy Corps has been working in Gaza to meet emergency needs and build long-term economic and community recovery.
To help youth affected by trauma and conflict, our long-term programming focuses on education and psychosocial support as well as skills and job training.
We are concerned about the safety of innocent civilians on all sides of the conflict and have joined with other international NGOs in a call for a lasting cease-fire.
Through our work, we will continue to address the underlying issues that keep this cycle of violence going.