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CARE Calls for an End to the Embargo on Gaza
WASHINGTON - June 1 - The three-year
blockade against Gaza has systematically dismantled the economy and
left civilian infrastructure in a state of collapse. The blockade has
reduced the population to near-complete dependence on international food
assistance. Nearly 40 percent of the Palestinian population is
food-insecure and unemployment levels in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
remain high. Before the blockade, commercial goods flowed in and out of
Gaza; Gazans had access to nearly the same selection of food and goods
as the Israelis or people in the West Bank. For example, restrictions on
the import of cement make impossible the re-construction of some 12,000
Palestinian homes damaged or destroyed by Israeli military operations
in recent years, as well as a further 20,000 homes needed to accommodate
natural population growth in the Gaza Strip.
When hostilities broke out again in December 2008, CARE responded within hours, distributing urgently needed food, medicine, and emergency supplies to families, hospitals and orphanages. We provided basic non-food items such as blankets, personal hygiene kits, and household cleaning supplies to more than 37,500 Gazans displaced by the ongoing conflict. We also provided medications and helped build local health care capacity health by providing mobile clinics to reach vulnerable and distant populations that would have otherwise severely limited access to health services.
CARE's work in Gaza and the West Bank includes helping build safe playground areas for children in Gaza, supporting the health care system in Gaza and the West Bank, providing access to clean water and sanitation facilities, supporting farmers in recovering their harvests which were lost in the conflict, and making sure families have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
As always, CARE maintains a key focus on working with women. In partnership with community organizations, we are empowering 2500 vulnerable, displaced Palestinian women to play a much stronger role in the social, political and economic spheres of their communities.
CARE is calling for an end to the embargo on Gaza, the easing of movement and restrictions on access for humanitarian purposes, and increasing resources for emergency assistance and long term development to WBG to meet the humanitarian needs.