"I will give £20 to MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians) but only if 20 other people will do the same."
— bigbluemeanie, resident of the this Parish
Deadline to sign up by: 31st January 2009
1 person signed up, 19 more were needed
The current conflict is almost two weeks old, and is at a critical stage. Hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed and thousands injured. The UN Relief Agency, Unrwa, has been forced to pull out of Gaza due to the intensity of bombing and the indiscriminate nature of Israeli attacks on civilians and relief workers. The Red Cross (ICRC) has accused Israel in failing in its obligations to the citizens caught up in the war (tantamount war crimes). Amnesty International has highlighted that both parties to the conflict (Hamas and the Israeli government) are using civilians as human shields.
Although there have been initiatives for peace (e.g. the Egyptian/French proposals) which are being "considered positively" or "agreed in principle" by both sides, we have reached a critical juncture in the conflict. Past wars (e.g. Lebanon 2006) have shown that most bombs are dropped and deaths caused in the final days, as the militaristic hawks try to exploit the final window of the conflict.
I therefore urging you to make a donation to MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians) who are providing much-needed humanitarian support to the civilians who are caught up in this ghastly conflict. For photos of what is going on, you can see [url=]Amir Farshad Ebrahimi's photostream[/url] and [url=]Zoriah's photostream[/url] (both are posting photos from Gaza onto the photo site Flickr).
Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) works for the health of Palestinians (especially in conditions of occupation, displacement or exile) based on principles of self-determination and social justice
"There's no gauze so they are using cotton, which sticks to the wounds. They can't sterilise clothes for the operating theatre. They're using wrong sized syringes. They're working 24 hours. They're referring cases from one hospital to the next. One hospital was running out of anaesthesia. They're also drawing blood and there's no alcohol. This is a disaster."
Fikr Shalltoot- MAP's Programme Coordinator in Gaza
HOW CAN MAP GET INTO GAZA?
* MAP has staff on the ground in Gaza and was able to respond immediately.
* MAP did not have to wait to bring supplies (and staff) in to Gaza, we had pre-positioned supplies (surgical kits) and blood units, already ready.
* MAP was able to release over $150,000 of supplies (medicines and surgical kits) in the first hours of the crisis.
* MAP is able to get more supplies in to Gaza. Humanitarian aid is now being allowed into Gaza, though the need is very great.
* The need is especially great because hospitals were at a breaking point even before the attacks began, because of the blockade of Gaza.
* Coordination is key in emergencies to ensure that medical priorities are met and not duplicated as more agencies respond. MAP is working in coordination with the United Nations (World Health Organisation) and the hospitals to bring in the most needed supplies.
HOW IS MAP RESPONDING?
MAP are currently setting up emergency task force team to sort out stock, pharmaceutical team and storage spaces to redeploy over Gaza strip, establishing three main distribution centres on in South, Middle and North Gaza Strip. Why? In case of further military action which prevents internal travel.
* Ensuring central blood bank has sufficient capacity and ongoing storage with the Blood Donation Association - we are partners with both and are developing further strengthened partnership between these to ensure full coverage of Gaza Strip
* Equipment and spare parts inventory developed - this will happen once we finish with current emergency support to central drugs store- This will support not only medical but non medical items essentials for hospital delivery - again we will be working closely with WHO, ICRC and others to share this info and support survey.
* Drugs, disposables and technical aids for those items that will have been overlooked - including need for addition support for orthopaedics and medical rehabilitation - this will be for both NGOs and MAP - MAP is already providing pervious items at zero stock that were raised at central meeting for children with Cystic Fibrosis - this is only one month supply - once we get the pharmacy working
* Provision of emergency shelter (mattresses and blankets MAP already has pre-positioned) in addition Hygiene Kits for displaced families.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
MAP has launched an Emergency Appeal for Gaza: we desperately need your help. Please give what you can. In this critical time, it is essential that our appeal is seen by as many people as possible. Please pass on our website to all that you can. If you would like to hold a fundraiser for MAP then please contact us.
WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW IN GAZA?
Hospitals report that over 763 Palestinians have been killed and over 3,085 are injured. Large numbers of civilians are reported among the dead, and the World Health Organisation estimates that at least 230 children and 100 women have been killed. Our hospital sources report that of the hundreds of injured, dozens more will die in the coming hours and days. The bombing continues, from the air and the sea. The situation at hospitals is absolutely critical.
(From the MAP Gaza appeal on their website)
Please see here for further details, and for how to donate: