War in Gaza
On October 7, 2023, armed groups from Gaza entered Israeli towns, farming communities, and military facilities near the Gaza Strip, killing and capturing Israeli forces and civilians. Israel declared war on Hamas as a result and began a campaign of barraging Gaza with airstrikes and forcing people to evacuate their homes in the north.
The massacres of October 7 are a continuation of the bloodshed we have seen for decades in the absense of a political solution. All the deaths before and since form one terrible sum of civilian suffering. It is a grim tally that will continue growing without action from the international community.
In Gaza, there is a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding before the world’s eyes. Forced evacuations and attacks have displaced at least 60% of Gaza’s residents. There is no electricity: Israel immediately cut off their supply (representing 80%) and, four days later, the Gaza power plant ran out of the fuel it needed to keep operating. Most generators are not working as fuel supplies rapidly decrease.
Without electricity or back-up generators to supply power, water cannot be pumped or cleaned. Hospitals cannot run life-saving equipment. In the meantime, health facilities have been bombed and many have ceased their operations. As of this writing, nearly half of all residential units in Gaza have been entirely destroyed or damaged.
As of this writing, only a trickle of aid has come through the Rafah border with Egypt. Israel declared a full closure of Gaza from October 8th to 21st, during which no goods at all came into the beleaguered territory. From the 21st, only about 20 trucks daily were allowed in — less than 5% of the normal flow. The outside aid doesn’t fill even 0.1% of the need.
What Anera is Doing
Anera is a humanitarian organization and, as such, we concern ourselves with delivering relief to civilians — regular people who are suffering and caught up in a conflict beyond their control or blame. And our remarkable Gaza team has been doing just that every day since the war began.
Despite the closure, and because of our Gaza staff’s deep roots in their communities, the team has been able to regularly deliver humanitarian aid to their neighbors. They called on existing relationships with trusted vendors throughout Gaza to locally purchase food, hygiene items, medical supplies and gas (see pages 4-5). They mobilized their networks within the UN and healthcare facilities to transport and deliver aid to people most in need. They make miracles happen every day.
Anera’s Development Work Continues Helping People in Gaza
Anera implements development programs first and foremost, and delivers relief when it is needed. And, it is in part because of the development work that our Gaza team has done in their neighborhoods for many years that families have been able to get some relief during a time of unimaginable need.
Schools that Anera built in southern Gaza have been used to shelter displaced families. Our solar-powered agricultural pumps and reverse osmosis systems have provided daily water in Rafah. And fresh produce from farms that Anera rehabilitated have provided healthy meals to displaced people.
What Comes Next
It is hard to fathom what Gaza will look like in the aftermath of this war. The damage and needs will be immense. Our team on the ground there, who will no doubt be traumatized and exhausted, will assess the situation and coordinate with other organizations to work on a recovery plan.
It will be a very long road to physical, emotional and societal recovery in Gaza. Though daunting, it’s incumbent upon everyone who cares about Palestine and the people of Gaza to help rebuild a future with hope.
Young adults from Palestine and Jordan discuss the challenges their communities and countries confront in relation to climate change, along with the proactive measures they are taking to address and mitigate its impact.
Anera is in Dubai this week to participate in COP28. The 28th United Nations Climate Change conference — known as the 2023 Conference of the Parties, or COP28 — has convened in Dubai from November 30 until December 12. Anera…