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Feb-08-2012 19:57printcomments

UNRWA's Emergency Appeal

West Bank demolitions quadrupled in 2011- Israeli settler violence rose 205%

Family in Gaza
Family in Gaza - photo from UNRWA

(GAZA STRIP) - The West Bank and Gaza are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.

Restrictions on the movement of people and goods, the destruction of homes and infrastructure, and widespread violence against Palestinians, characterized by a disregard for human dignity and international human rights, have created an ongoing emergency.

To help address these urgent concerns, UNRWA has just released its 2012 Emergency Appeal, outlining important life-saving food, health, employment, and protection programs.

But, with millions of dollars needed to carry out these emergency programs, we need your support now more than ever. Here are a few shocking current statistics:

  • Before 2002, dependence on UNRWA aid in the West Bank was 3.5%, currently it’s 50%;
  • Before 2002, dependence on UNRWA aid in Gaza was 10%, currently it’s 70%;
  • Demolitions in the West Bank quadrupled in 2011 compared to 2010;
  • Israeli settler violence rose 205% in 2011 compared to 2010; (check out our petition on!)
  • In 2005, Israel committed to allowing 400 truckloads of exports out of Gaza each day, today approximately 2 trucks make it out of Gaza on a daily basis; (check out Ban Ki-moon's recent visit to Gaza where he calls on Israel to end its occupation.)
  • Currently, 542 obstacles including road blocks, check points, and the separation wall, affect Palestinian movement in the West Bank;
  • 600,000 refugees live below the poverty line in Gaza. 300,000 live on less than $1.60 a day.

Refugees’ humanitarian needs are rising at a rapid rate, and funding is simply not keeping pace. At the end of 2011, UNRWA’s emergency school feeding, job creation, and community mental health programs were nearly cut entirely because of a lack of funding. Please help make 2012 different for Palestinian refugees. Your support for UNRWA’s 2012 Emergency Appeal can do so much:

  • $15.00 will provide mental counseling for one child suffering from PTSD;
  • $25.00 will help UNRWA ensure access to safe water and sanitation for refugees;
  • $50.00 will help UNRWA monitor and report on protection violations, including home demolitions and settler violence;
  • $125.00 will provide a student in Gaza with food for the entire school year, including evening meals;
  • $800.00 will provide a refugee in the West Bank with 3 months of work through UNRWA’s Job Creation Program.

UNRWA has always played a key role in meeting the urgent needs of Palestinian refugees, but as conditions for these refugees continue to deteriorate, we ask you to continue to join us in playing a key role too. Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation to UNRWA’s 2012 Emergency Appeal. Your donation could save a life.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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