PRESS RELEASE: Responding to Gaza Crisis

December 29, 2008 | Washington DC – ANERA reports a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza as Israel continues its bombardment of Hamas facilities. Civilians caught in the crossfire have been forced to flee their homes. Hospitals are reporting shortages of the most basic of medical supplies needed to treat the wounded.

ANERA, along with other humanitarian relief organizations, has been prevented from delivering medical and other supplies to refugees in Gaza for two months.

Bill Corcoran, ANERA’s President, reports that all staff are safe and the office is undamaged. “I am in regular contact with the Gaza office director,” says Corcoran. “He has closed the office for the time being, asking staff to work from home – when electricity permits. I have assured him that we are doing everything from our end to get medical and food supplies into Gaza. I also let him know that Gaza is in our thoughts all the time.”

An ANERA staffer in Gaza offered a first-hand report: “Two days ago I woke up to find all the windows in my apartment broken after a huge bombing shook the whole building. When I went downstairs, I saw women and men in their bed clothes scrambling to a nearby school to get their kids out, as the attack happened only a few miles away. And I live in a place that is considered safe!

“Today, the sirens of ambulances and the sounds of bombing fill the city. We can’t sleep a single minute through the nights. The weather is very cold outside, and I cannot find any glass in Gaza to repair my windows. It is expected that the coming days will bring heavy rains. I have no idea how I will cope with no windows.”

As the devastating crisis in Gaza continues to unfold and worsen, ANERA remains ready to respond to the grave need for assistance with supplies waiting at the border and we are prepared to do everything possible with the resources at hand.