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Mahmud Hams AFP high-min cropped © Mahmud HAMS / AFP

Press release

Occupied Palestinian Territory

Action Against Hunger teams in Gaza and the West Bank are safe and will return to work as soon as it’s feasible

Likewise, we condemn, and it is contrary to International Humanitarian Law, to collectively punish populations through the destruction of essential goods and infrastructure to cover basic needs as well as the denial of access to them to the civilian population. It is therefore necessary to enable both timely funding and access to vital food, water and sanitation and health services through border crossings and to protect both humanitarian personnel and the programmes themselves from any kind of violence.

Our organisation remains vigilant to prevent and mitigate the effects of this escalating violence as much as possible. Action Against Hunger has been working in Gaza since 2005 with programmes helping farmers, rehabilitating safe drinking water points in health centres, and providing training for youth and women in employment and entrepreneurship.

Action Against Hunger is deeply concerned about the escalating violence in Gaza and Israel and the safety of our teams, mostly local people, and their families. Fortunately, none of them have been injured, although several of our colleagues have had to leave their homes, as they are in areas marked as military targets.

We are closely monitoring the situation and working at all levels to relocate our colleagues and their families to safer areas,” says Chiara Saccardi, Action Against Hunger’s Middle East Officer, “in the meantime, we are doing everything we can to reduce their vulnerability and ensure they can access food, drink and electricity.

Because of this insecurity and to reduce risks,” says Chiara Saccardi, “we have temporarily suspended our activities in Gaza. The teams are on standby so that we can resume our humanitarian programmes as soon as the situation allows.”

The ‘total blockade’ of Gaza announced by Israel is another major concern, as preventing fuel, water, and food from reaching the civilian population is contrary to international humanitarian law.

Action Against Hunger has been working in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) since 2002 and began operating in Gaza in 2005. There, the activities that have been halted relate to the rehabilitation of safe and potable water points in health centres and collaboration with water management institutions to improve water supply throughout Gaza; training farmers in farming techniques and greenhouse construction to increase food production; and we provide training for youth and women in employability, both for employment and entrepreneurship.

According to the UN OCHA Humanitarian Needs Overview, 2.1 million of the 5.5 million Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) were in need of humanitarian assistance in 2023. Of these, 800,000 were in the West Bank and 1.3 million in the Gaza Strip.

In 2022, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Action Against Hunger reached 806,142 people affected by multiple crises, with a total budget of more than 10 million euros.

 


Press contact: 

Mathieu Fortoul – mfortoul@actioncontrelafaim.org / +33 7 89 31 55 58 

 

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