Following days of bombardment, Oxfam and other groups are delivering aid and assessing most urgent needs.
Following 12 nights of sustained bombardment, Oxfam and our partners are moving quickly following the declaration of a ceasefire to assist people in Gaza. The scale of the challenge is huge: Bombs have reduced entire apartment blocks to rubble, destroyed roads, and damaged water and sanitation services and the electrical supply.
The ceasefire means that “Two million Palestinians in Gaza, including hundreds of thousands of traumatized children, can rest rather than lie awake in fear as bombs fly over their homes. And civilians across Israel will be spared the threat of rocket attacks,” said Shane Stevenson, Oxfam’s director in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel in a statement.
While carrying out an assessment of emergency needs, Oxfam and our partners are planning to deliver immediate assistance in the following areas to an initial group of 282,762 people, including:
- Water, sanitation, hygiene: Providing clean water by truck as well as bottled water, jerry cans to store water, and repairing sanitation facilities at schools and other areas. We are also distributing hygiene items like soap and personal protective equipment and promoting the importance of good hygiene.
- Food and cash: Providing food and/or food vouchers for families whose homes were damaged or destroyed, and families hosting displaced people, with a focus on women-headed households and survivors of gender-based violence. Oxfam and partners will also provide cash for families, particularly farming and fishing families who need to replace equipment so they can get back to work.
Advocating for long-term solutions to conflict
Strict observance of this ceasefire is a crucial first step to allow Oxfam and our partners to support Palestinians to undertake the slow and painful process of rebuilding their destroyed homes, lives, and livelihoods. But this is just the beginning. Oxfam is calling on the Biden administration and international community to hold Israel and armed factions in Gaza accountable for any and all violations committed during and preceding this escalation of violence, and to begin to address the occupation and the denial of human rights to which Palestinians are subjected daily.
“Humanitarian agencies like Oxfam have been supported by international governments and donors to work with Palestinians to rebuild after each round of violence, only to watch the results of these collective efforts destroyed time and again,” Stevenson said. “The cycle of war followed by pledges of humanitarian aid can only be broken with concrete and meaningful political action by the international community to bring an end to the brutal, prolonged occupation, including a suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip, and work for a just and sustainable peace for all Israelis and Palestinians.