Gaza Emergency Response Includes Food,Water

August 14, 2014 ANERA
Emergency Response, Gaza, Humanitarian Relief
Rania at a church in Gaza City where ANERA distributed food parcels to displaced families Nearly every day for 51 days Rania wrote a journal entry for to share with ANERA's community the horrors she was suffering as bombs rained down all around her. Her story echoed hundreds of thousands who lived in fear of dying every day. Now that the ceasefire is in effect, Rania is busily writing stories, reaching out to media, getting pictures and collecting data from ANERA's response throughout Gaza.

By Rania Elhilou
Today was the first day I was able to leave my home and get back to work after nearly one month sheltering with my family inside my Gaza City apartment. I hardly recognized my city. Everywhere there are piles of rubble where buildings used to be, people searching for a safe place to shelter.

ANERA speeds delivery of 2,000 + emergency supplies of food and water to displaced.

Hundreds of men, women and children are squeezed into Gaza’s Orthodox Church where they sought refuge from the bombings. They fled their homes with nothing but the clothes they were wearing as the bombs rained down on their neighborhoods.

Gaza teen receives his family's emergency food parcel from ANERA delivery team.

Gaza teen receives his family’s emergency food parcel from ANERA delivery team.

Thanks to generous donations from UMCOR and other private donors, ANERA has been able to supply much-needed food parcels and water to the families who have no idea how much longer they will have to stay at the church and whether they’ll find their homes in one piece when it’s safe to return. Supplies of water and food were also delivered to two nearby schools.

Gaza mother opening ANERA's food parcel at Gaza church where she and her family sought shelter from bombings.

Suad El-Suwaiki opening ANERA’s food parcel at Gaza church where she and her family sought shelter from bombings.

When I arrived at the church with my co-workers, ready to distribute the relief supplies, I found groups of women and children trying to put their lives together, the sadness in their eyes reflecting fear and pain. Some children lay quietly nearby on donated mattresses, some showed signs of the war with visible burns and fractures.

Suad El-Suwaiki, who had fled her home in the Shaaf neighborhood explained her family’s plight: “There was intensive shelling and one of my kids lost consciousness. When dawn broke we fled, sneaking from wall to wall until we could reach a safer place.”

Suad told me they have no money and could not afford to buy bread. Out of desperation, she risked her life to go back home to make some bread. But the bombs started falling and she had to take the bread out of the oven before it was finished and run back to the church. “My family ate it, even unfinished, because we were so hungry.” Suad was delighted and relieved with the food parcel, “Now I can prepare quick sandwiches to feed the kids.”

ANERA's Gaza emeregency response delivery of water and food parcels are welcome for young girl traumatized by war.

Food parcels are welcome sight for young girl traumatized by war.

Referring to the delivered packages, Suad said, “At most shelters, water is in short supply. Delivery of bottled water has become a priority for relief aid.” Sabreen El-Azayza fled with her family to the church, leaving everything behind. “We are running out of drinking water and cannot afford to buy any because the prices are too high,” she said. “And even the water we are receiving from surrounding suppliers tastes salty.”

At a nearby school where ANERA delivered more food and water I met Om Mohamad El-Ghola, who also escaped a bombing. “In the dark of night we saw scores of people running barefoot coming from eastern Gaza and we ran too,” she said. “We cannot believe we survived.”

Om Mohammed smiles with relief and appreciation when she receives the emergency food parcel, “We don’t have stoves or any kitchen utensils so this ready-to-eat food like cans of hummus and bread are handy for me to feed my children.”

Women huddle with their daughters at a shelter seeking refuge from Gaza bombings.

Women huddle with their daughters at a shelter seeking refuge from Gaza bombings.

3 Responses to “Gaza Emergency Response Includes Food,Water”

  1. August 07, 2014 at 4:06 pm, Brian Fry said:

    I found your site through the UMCOR website.
    I was trying to find out if UMCOR was responding to the desperate crisis in Gaza, as it often does for natural disasters. In this most un-natural, human-viciousness-caused disaster, I was hoping to see that UMCOR was willing to help here, too. I am happy to see that they are.
    I am a United Methodist, with a strong concern for Palestinian rights. Can you tell me the extent of UMCOR support for Anera’s work in Gaza? Have they involved themselves in any way beyond dollar donations? Thanks.

  2. August 07, 2014 at 4:09 pm, Brian Fry said:

    Shorter version. How much support is UMCOR giving Anera for its emergency relief in Gaza?

  3. August 08, 2014 at 4:21 pm, ANERA said:

    Hi Brian,

    We are pleased to say that UMCOR has been supporting ANERA’s in-kind medicine and relief work for over two years now. In this latest crisis to hit Gaza, UMCOR has given ANERA two grants for food parcel deliveries to 2,280 displaced families. The needs in Gaza are huge and UMCOR’s support is making a real difference.

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