Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions
1.How are you getting funds and supplies into Gaza when there’s a blockade?
All items that come into Gaza come firstly through commercial entities, not through NGOs. These commercial suppliers are approved and are usually allowed in, especially for food items and medical supplies. Whenever borders are closed, Islamic Relief has prequalified suppliers that enable us to procure items quickly from within Gaza to meet immediate needs.
Items can sometimes get blocked during escalations when borders are closed, or if there are delays at the Karem Abu Salem crossing (the main crossing for goods into Gaza). However, they do usually get through. We work hard to ensure that these essential supplies as well as what is available in local markets are available for immediate need.
2.How do you have access so fast?
Islamic Relief has been on the ground in Gaza for the past 25 years. We have an office with staff and volunteers who work every day to deliver urgent support and implement development projects for Palestinians, by improving access to healthcare, psychosocial support, education, and livelihoods.
We also have an existing network of local partners with who we work on a regular basis and have worked to build their capacity. Together, our response is much stronger and wider in reach, especially when needed most.
3.Isn’t it better to just send money directly through people who have family in Palestine?
During times of crisis and emergency, banks and monetary institutions are often impacted. This can prevent families from accessing banks and withdrawing funds. While humanitarian organizations have existing relationships with banks and available funds on reserve that they can access and utilize during such emergency crises to ensure a quick response.
4.Why is it a better option to give funds to humanitarian organisations instead?
Humanitarian organisations are able to assess needs on the ground on a wider scale, and in coordination with relevant actors (i.e. ministries and UN Clusters) to determine the best way to utilize funds as per the urgent needs on the ground. Humanitarian organizations also have standards they must maintain to ensure high-quality assistance is provided such as operating standards and quality of aid, while also ensuring there is no duplication so that every person can be reached equitably.
5.We heard that NGOs only spend collected funds after they find local partners and that can take a few months?
Islamic Relief is on the ground and is quick to implement aid directly, especially during emergencies as we have a dedicated emergency team. When working with local partners, these relationships are already determined before a project is signed and before funds are transferred.
6.Is there a clear humanitarian need that big governments can’t deal with?
The humanitarian needs across Palestine are immense, with approximately 80% of Palestinians relyi ng on humanitarian agencies to meet their basic needs. Unfortunately, big governments don’t provide enough assistance to reach all those in need and major cuts in funding in recent years have only made this worse.
7.How can we trust donations are delivered?
Transparency is our key value. That is why we post pictures, share videos and most importantly, we account for every dollar given through reports on our website and audits every single year.