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World News

'Money is coming in, but there's nothing left to buy' - Christian Aid warns of growing humanitarian aid crisis in Gaza

by Donna Birrell

Christian Aid is warning that the ability of humanitarian organisations to provide aid in Gaza is being seriously limited.

It comes as the United Nations (UN) has confirmed that 56 trucks entered Gaza on 31st October, compared to an average of 500 truckloads entering Gaza every working day before the hostilities. The UN says that 500 trucks is the very lowest number required to enable the population in Gaza to subsist.

Christian Aid says it's also concerned that while money is still being transferred into Gaza, it will no longer be effective because there is nothing left to buy locally. Its Head of Middle East Policy and Advocacy said: "The violence is affecting everyone, civilians and humanitarians alike. Nobody is safe but still our partners in Gaza are doing extraordinary work in the most extreme conditions.

"With the local banking system still working, cash transfers via our partners are helping people displaced in Khan Younis and providing mobile medical and psychological care, including supporting a small group of Christians sheltering in Saint Porphyrius church.

"Soon the cash transfers will no longer be effective because, as one of our partners said, there's nothing left to buy locally. While our community-led response is proving more resilient than any large-scale logistical operations can deliver at present, we need to respond at a level that can only be achieved by unrestricted humanitarian access with fuel, water and electricity reconnected.

"Only a full ceasefire, not a temporary pause, can ensure the safe and effective supply of humanitarian support, including fuel, at the scale required to help two million Palestinians."

As with other humanitarian workers, staff have lost family members, been displaced and their offices and equipment have been damaged in the blasts. The conditions are limiting their ability to move around and provide aid.

Dr Hassan runs the chronic disease centre for Christian Aid's local partner Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) but since the start of the current crisis, he has also been working with PMRS' mobile health team, which delivers medicine and carries out home visits to change dressings for the wounded.

Speaking from Gaza, Dr Hassan explained: "I have lived through many wars in Gaza. But this war is not the same. We have lost a lot of doctors, nurses and hospital staff. Many healthcare workers have been killed by bombs and rockets hitting their homes.

"They are bombing crowded places, bakeries, hospitals and homes. They are bombing everywhere. 

"If fuel totally runs out in Gaza it will be a catastrophe, especially those in intensive care units who are relying on ventilators, which will stop working without electricity. The hospitals will become a place where patients are only sent to the morgue."



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