Caritas delivers food and medical care to Gazan families
09 February 2009
Caritas is delivering food parcels to almost 2000 Gazan families who were cut off from help during a recent Israeli military campaign.
Gazans are heavily reliant on humanitarian aid after bombardments destroyed homes, hospitals, schools, water and sewage infrastructure. The war followed an 18 month blockade in which Gazans saw food supplies dry up and during which the economy was brought to its knees.
Caritas will distribute rations including oil, flour, rice sugar, tea, tomato paste, cans of meat and milk. It is also supplying blankets and medicines.
Almost 90 percent of Gazans are currently reliant of food aid due to food and currency shortages.
Meanwhile the UN suspended aid shipments last week, saying Hamas government had seized hundreds of tonnes of food.
Caritas recently launched a US$2 million appeal to fund a seven month programme to provide Gazan families with food, health and hygiene assistance plus financial support will be given to 2000 families.
During the conflict, Caritas also provided medical care to Gazans through five medical points. One of the medical points was destroyed by an Israeli fighter jet during the crisis.
Apart from immediate emergency aid, Gaza will need long-term reconstruction following the conflict in which over 1,300 people were killed.
The UN has said that the three-week Israeli operation left two-thirds of Gaza's 1.5m residents without power, a third without running water and medical facilities were overwhelmed and lacking basic supplies.
Humanitarian agencies are facing difficulties in accessing Gaza as many crossings are closed and Israel is imposing restrictions on what can enter Gaza.
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