There Are No Words – The 2023 Gaza War

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There is no word that can sufficiently capture the frustration, grief, and near-disbelief that many of us have felt witnessing the collective punishment and crimes committed against innocent Palestinians over the last two months. Even after this war is over, the decimation of life and infrastructure will take many years to overcome. This war will leave an irreparable mark on the already scarred history of Palestine. While I do not know what the next few weeks and months will bring, I do know that vulnerable communities where Anera works will face extreme hardships this winter.

Palestinian families being forcibly displaced due to Israeli bombings and evacuation orders, October 2023. More than 60 percent of homes in Gaza have been damaged or completely destroyed, leaving millions of Palestinians homeless and in inadequate UN shelters as winter fast approaches.

Infrastructure in Palestine, particularly in Gaza, has long been insufficient to meet the needs of its people. As of this writing, more than half of all residential units across Gaza have been damaged or destroyed and significant portions of the water network have been bombed. Airstrikes and evacuation orders have forced families to shelter together in overcrowded homes, schools, and other buildings, take refuge in tents, or live in their vehicles. Palestinians in Gaza are still rebuilding, years later, from the 2021 and 2014 bombing campaigns. The effects of the damage from this unprecedented assault will linger for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Palestinians.

At the same time, we are watching as Lebanon comes eerily close to a repeat of its own 2006 war. In the face of an ongoing economic crisis that has plunged millions of people below the poverty line, war would make an already unbearable situation unlivable for so many. Across the region, many families and communities are bracing for a winter without the basic necessities we all require – adequate shelter, clean water, food, healthcare, education and psychological wellbeing.

Smoke rising in Southern Lebanon
Smoke rising in southern Lebanon after an Israeli strike, November 2023.

Anera’s long-standing presence in the region makes it possible to respond when circumstances on the ground seem insurmountable. Poverty, food insecurity, unemployment, and lack of access to basic necessities are magnified during times of violence. And when the needs grow, our response scales up to meet them.

Each winter we mobilize to respond to the effects of cold weather, damp conditions, and the spread of disease that we’ve come to expect. We’ve built and maintained robust storm water networks to handle annual flooding. We’ve bolstered the healthcare sector by ensuring clinics are fully stocked with supplies to treat the sick. We’ve given families proper clothing and bedding to ensure they are well-equipped to navigate the colder months. And we’ve provided vital food aid to schools so that children can have a healthy meal, which for some is their only meal of the day. All of this “normal” need is magnified now.

Delivering much needed flour to a UN shelter in southern Gaza.

When you donate to Anera, you help us continue to respond wherever and whenever we’re needed. Our programs in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan connect displaced and vulnerable communities with the resources they need to not just survive today but have hope for tomorrow.

Our staff continues to demonstrate a selfless commitment to serving others during these dangerous and tragic times. Facing a new challenge every day, they continuously find ways to help people because that’s what they do. They help. Let them know they’re not alone by supporting their incredible efforts to elevate their communities by delivering necessities like healthcare, food and water, education and livelihoods. Your support is the foundation of hope, allowing people to meet their basic needs, and to look beyond them to envision a better future even when violence and catastrophe attempt to take it from them.

In gratitude,

Sean Carroll
Anera President & CEO

When you give by December 31, your donation will be DOUBLED thanks to a group of generous Anera donors.

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