The report aligns with the United Church campaign echoing concerns raised by global partners, ecumenical groups, and civil society.

Ruins of destroyed buildings in Gaza
Credit: hosnysalah / Pixabay
Published On: February 14, 2024

The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is one of five regional commissions under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Their February 9, 2024 report summarizes the human and physical destruction in Gaza, noting that “no other armed conflict in the twenty-first century has experienced such a devastating impact on a population in such a short time frame. To find a 100-day period with greater bloodshed, it is necessary to go back to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.”

Shared with the United Church by partner ACT Alliance, the ECSWA report's six recommendations align closely with The United Church of Canada campaign, echoing the concerns raised by global partners, ecumenical groups, and civil society: 

  1. Immediately cease all hostilities and work towards lasting peace.
  2. Protect civilians and civilian essential-service infrastructure.
  3. Ensure unrestricted access to humanitarian aid for affected populations.
  4. Immediately rehabilitate health infrastructure.
  5. Strengthen collaboration and coordination for relief and immediate assistance among relevant international and Palestinian actors.
  6. Provide psychosocial support to the traumatized population, particularly children.

United Church partners are responding in Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank, where community needs are immense. To date, the Church has raised $215,224 and has supported the following partner responses:  

  1. $180,224 from the United Church’s Global Emergency Response Fund to ACT Alliance. Funds were directed to the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, a Mission and Service partner. 
  2. $20,000 from the humanitarian appeal funds to the East Jerusalem YMCA to provide food, medical supplies, and hygiene kits to families, supporting some 1,400 persons. 
  3. $15,000 from the humanitarian appeal funds to Mission and Service partner, Wi’am, in Bethlehem, to provide individual and group psychosocial support to the most vulnerable, and temporary work for those who have lost their livelihoods because of Israeli-imposed movement restrictions and the near-economic collapse of the region. 
  4. Through collaboration with Canadian Foodgrains Bank members and the Humanitarian Coalition joint appeal, the United Church is supporting local partners responding to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The United Church regenerated its appeal in January 2024, including refreshing the letter to MPs to “Support Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel” and focus on actions to end the war and provide humanitarian relief. 

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