Our statement on escalating violence in Gaza
As violence escalates in Gaza, the more than 50 aid workers in Mercy Corps' Palestine mission are watching with great anxiety. We have temporarily suspended our programs in Gaza.
"This is the worst escalation of violence we have seen since the 2014 Gaza War, and it is civilians who will suffer as a result," says Mercy Corps' Palestine Mission Director Andy Dwonch.
"Every increase in violence diminishes our hopes for a peaceful resolution and sets back any progress in alleviating the already desperate living conditions in Gaza, where 70 percent of people rely on humanitarian aid to survive."
Mercy Corps has worked in Palestine for three decades, providing humanitarian relief, working with children and young people and expanding job opportunities.
The Gaza Strip, home to 1.8 million people, has been under a blockade since 2007, which has paralyzed its economy and led to severe shortages of water, electricity, food and fuel. According to the U.N., at least 80 percent of the population is dependent on external assistance.
- Emergency response: Distributing emergency food and supplies to families displaced by crisis. We were on the ground providing aid during the most recent conflict and responded to flooding in December 2013, the Israel-Hamas conflict in 2008-09, and border closures in 2005
- Children & Youth: Providing educational mentoring, one-on-one tutoring and psychosocial support for young people, who make up half the population
- Economic opportunity: Expanding employment opportunities, especially in the internet technology sector, by providing training, networking opportunities and seed funding for startups
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): Mercy Corps continues humanitarian assistance in Gaza
Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses is the title of the latest report on Gaza, one year after Operation Cast Lead, the three-month military conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): We're all the beneficiaries
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): Tunnels, walls and stones
I must admit, I found it a bit disappointing that I'd passed so easily through the infamous Ben Gurion International Airport passport control. After I picked up my bag I didn't really know what to do with myself — the flight had arrived early, and I wasn't being held up for questioning.
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): Questions on the way to Israel
I really didn't plan my first trip to Israel and Palestine to coincide with the publication of National Geographic's special issue on The Holy Land —honest, I didn't.
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): A mother in search of peace
It's big news around the Portland headquarters this week that one of our most senior field workers, Isdud Al-Najjar, is in town. That's because her home is in the Gaza Strip, where the odds of getting out are about the same as winning Powerball.
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): Gaza photo contest: And the winner is ...
In my last post, I talked about how we managed to print photos in Jerusalem taken by Gaza youth for a special photo exhibit entitled "Recognizing Our Common Humanity."
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): Recognizing our common humanity through photos
For two days now, we've hand-carried photo frames from Israel's border to the Gaza Strip, walking through a long silent tunnel and crossing a high cement wall. We've gotten got ten frames into Gaza for the photo exhibition; 20 more to go.
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): CNN's 'generation Islam' puts youth in the lead
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): What We’re Doing in Gaza
Since the Jan. 18 ceasefire, some humanitarian goods and workers have entered Gaza. Hospitals and power plants are functioning at reduced levels, but basic needs — including food, shelter and access to clean water and sanitation — remain at critical levels.
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): Aid delivery reaches Gaza
Cassandra Nelson on a recent visit to the West Bank.