Based in Jerusalem, Caritas Jerusalem is a humanitarian and developmental organisation that serves the needs of the Palestinian population in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Their work began in 1967 as a result of the aftermath of the Six-Day War to respond to the overwhelming needs of Palestinian refugees. Since its foundation, Caritas Jerusalem has grown and expanded their responsibilities, both in terms of its programme base and its operational capacity. Today, Caritas Jerusalem activities and programmes include enhancing the social and medical services for the poor and marginalised, ensuring food security for the underprivileged, providing emergency humanitarian aid in times of crisis, youth empowerment programmes, creating economic opportunities through soft loan and job creation and advocating for peace in the Holy Land.
Every year Caritas Jerusalem programmes and activities benefit over 30,000 individuals in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Since its inception, Caritas Jerusalem has been active with responding to humanitarian emergencies caused by the ongoing conflicts in the Holy Land. Caritas Jerusalem provides rapid and effective aid that save lives, reduces suffering and restores dignity to Palestinians who have been hit heavily by war and natural catastrophes. They respond to basic urgent needs with food and hygienic supplies, tents, medication and medical equipment. In 2009, they implemented a large-scale emergency appeal programme to provide shelter, medical supplies, and basic living assistance, following the military offensive in the Gaza Strip which left many families homeless. And responded with food packages, cash medical aid and psychosocial activities in schools and family visits in 2012-2013 after the eight day war in Gaza.
Caritas offers primary healthcare and provides an integrated medical programme to the local community in Gaza. The Caritas gynecologist is one of the few female practitioners in the Gaza Strip.The centre is also the base of a mobile medical team which provides service to the most marginalised communities. The mobile unit has operated since 2004 and visits Rafah, Amore, Imm Sadar, Magazi, Al Shati Camp and Breij Camp.
Caritas Jerusalem is also active in providing social services for the elderly. In 1990, they founded Caritas Elderly Day Care Centre to care for 65 isolated senior citizens living under the poverty threshold. The centre monitors closely the health of its members and renders regular medical check-ups to screen for eyesight, diabetes and blood pressure level. We also provide them with hot meals three times a week.
For the past 30 years, Caritas Jerusalem has operated a microfinance programme to provide loans to support small businesses, education, home renovation and emergency loans in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Finally, their job creation programme helps improve lives by providing dignified work to the unemployed; such as renovation of houses, construction of a sewage system in the West Bank, refurbishment of schools and the training of 400 women in Bethlehem in sewing techniques and embroidery for a line of high quality baby clothes. We also have a programme in which we help school students by covering part of the tuition fees in Bethlehem and Ramallah governorate. This year we were able to help over 1,000 students with $250 each.
Caritas Jerusalem headquarters is located in Jerusalem and has approximately 20 staff. In addition, in 2005 Caritas Jerusalem initiated a volunteer programme to empower young people and facilitate activities. Caritas Jerusalem is present in 10 parishes around Ramallah and Bethlehem and is present in schools in Ramallah, Taybeh and Birzeit.
Other Caritas Partnerships: As a member of the world-wide network Caritas Internationalis, Caritas Jerusalem works with other Caritas organisations to support the humanitarian relief at home and around the world, such as Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
Caritas Updates from Jerusalem
There are 1.7 million Palestinians living in Gaza, a thin strip of land along the Mediterranean, 41 km long and between 6 to 12 km wide. They have been blockaded by Israel since June 2007. A fifth live below the poverty line, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
This page is also available in: French, SpanishHarout Bedrossian, communications officer for Caritas Jerusalem Finally it is quiet today. Last night’s ceasefire between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel put an end to a week of brutal warfare which caused suffering on both sides of the border.
Caritas Jerusalem Info
|Postal Address||Notre Dame Center,
3 Paratroopers Road,
|Telephone||+972 2 62 87 574|
|Fax||+972 2 62 88 421|