15 January 2009
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Telephone: 0044 (0)20 7877 7044, email: PSims@redcross.org.uk, out of hours: 07659 145 095
Telephone: 0044 (0)20 7877 7045, email: SGelmini@redcross.org.uk, out of hours: 07659 145 095
British Red Cross launches Gaza Crisis Appeal
The British Red Cross has launched an appeal to support the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement’s response to the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza and Israel.
The hostilities in Gaza have had a tragic impact upon its population. It is estimated that almost 1,000 Gazans have been killed, some 4,400 injured and 90,000 forced to flee their homes due to the conflict. There is an urgent need for medical supplies and equipment, emergency shelter and household items to alleviate the suffering in what the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has described as a ‘full blown humanitarian crisis’. Civilians in Israel have been affected by rocket attacks.
The appeal will support the Movement’s ongoing emergency relief and medical operation in the region. To date:
- In Gaza, Palestine Red Crescent hospitals, medical teams and ambulances are responding to the needs of people around the clock. The ICRC has also sent a surgical team to Al Shifa hospital to assist local doctors.
- In Israel, the Magen David Adom (National Society of Israel) is on high alert and is providing first aid and ambulance services.
- The Egyptian Red Crescent is helping get medical supplies into Gaza and evacuating critically wounded people to hospital.
“The situation is critical. We must act now. In Gaza, many health-care centres are no longer functioning and medical supplies are running out. There is an increasing number of civilian casualties and many people have been forced to flee their homes with nowhere safe to go,” said Matthias Schmale, International Director, British Red Cross.
“Hospitals are struggling to cope with the wounded. Most hospitals in the Strip continue to run on generators 24 hours a day to keep life-saving equipment operating without interruption. Despite the challenges, aid is getting through, but we need more funds to carry on providing emergency relief to people trapped in this horrific situation.”
The International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is at the forefront of the humanitarian response, able to act because it is understood to be a strictly politically neutral, impartial and independent intermediary that seeks to meet unmet humanitarian need.
To donate to the British Red Cross Gaza Crisis Appeal go to www.redcross.org.uk/gazacrisis or call 0845 054 7206 or send cheques made payable to British Red Cross Society to: GAZA CRISIS APPEAL, British Red Cross, 44 Moorfields, London, EC2Y 9AL.
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.
In the event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters either overseas or here in the UK. For more information, visit redcross.org.uk