CARE Calls for an End to the Embargo on Gaza

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Lurma Rackley
Public Relations Director
Phone: +1.404.979.9450 (Atlanta)
Mobile: +1.404.394.8298
E-mail: lrackley@care.org

CARE Calls for an End to the Embargo on Gaza

WASHINGTON - 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.

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CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.

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