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
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