Palestine Appeal 2014 FAQs
We want our supporters to be able to donate with confidence in us, so here are a few of our most commonly asked questions and their answers:
Q. What work is Islamic Relief doing in Palestine?
A: IR supports over 300,000 people in Palestine with general relief and development projects with its main focus on the following six sectors: Emergency Relief, Child Welfare, Education, Health and Nutrition, Water and Sanitation, and Sustainable Livelihoods.
It supplies several of the largest hospitals with essential medical supplies. In addition, the team has a stockpile of hygiene kits, blankets and mattresses for families, which it will distribute if people are displaced by a ground invasion.
During this current crisis, we are providing food and medical supplies to hospitals. Non-food items such as clothing, blankets, mattresses are also needed, but at present it is not safe enough to reach displaced people.
Q. How are you getting supplies into Palestine?
A: Items are being ordered through local suppliers. The crossing used for bringing in merchandise is currently operating at a reduced capacity, but there is speculation that this will increase to meet the ever growing need.
Q. What will the money collected by the appeal be spent on?
A: The funds collected will be spent on immediate humanitarian needs and any others that emerge as the crisis unfolds. At the moment, hospitals have the biggest need and are the most accessible places, so this is where donations are being used. As the situation evolves, the team will respond accordingly and provide humanitarian assistance where possible.
Q. What are the extra humanitarian needs as a result of the bombardment?
A: Food and medical supplies for hospitals are the most pressing needs at this moment. These can be addressed most easily, as it is possible to gain access to hospitals and drug dispensaries. The wider displaced population is also in need of food and medical supplies, but because of insecurity it is currently not possible for us to reach them.
Because of the large numbers of homes being destroyed, there are hundreds of displaced people crowding into other homes. There is generally a problem of overcrowding which existed before the bombardment, but now it has been exacerbated, as there is no access to safe locations.
Humanitarian reports indicate there are only a few days’ worth of fuel reserves left to power hospitals. In the six months prior to the current crisis, supplies of basic medical items were already running short, which enable hospitals to operate at ‘normal’ capacity, treating patients suffering from chronic diseases and carrying out regular surgeries. Now however, there are a high number of emergency cases coming in that require emergency and specialised medicine and medical care, and a large number of surgeries are needed for which hospitals simply don’t have the supplies.
There is also an urgent need for chlorine for water networks. The water network has to be treated with chlorine to kill germs due to high pollution levels in water.
Q. How has the current fighting affected your work in Palestine?
A: The bombardment is making it very difficult for the Islamic Relief team to deliver aid. Currently it is too dangerous for our staff to go out; only a few are in the office and most have had to stay at home. It is particularly difficult to reach individual families, though it is access to hospitals is safer, which is why we’re focusing our support in hospitals at the moment. However, many of these have already run out of some vital medical supplies, and the situation will continue to deteriorate if our aid workers cannot do their jobs.