ACT Alert OPT - 1/2007: Gaza State of Emergency

Geneva, 15 June 2007 - Hamas has taken over control of the Gaza strip after a week of fighting between the Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah. The fighting left more than 100 dead and many more wounded. Extensive damage was done to an already weak infrastructure. Hospitals became battlegrounds and medical staff were unable to report to work.

The coming days and weeks could see a deepening instability in economic and social conditions, translating into thousands of families having no access to food, cash, medical care and other needed essentials, particularly as the new school year approaches.

ACT member Department for Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) of the Middle East Council of Churches has long been active in Gaza managing health clinics, vocational training centers and providing social services to over 10,000 vulnerable families.

ACT member International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has also been working in Gaza supplying food and medicines to families, school feeding and land rehabilitation.

DSPR is currently preparing an emergency proposal for ACT Rapid Response Funds to provide needed medical services and cash assistance to families over the next couple of months. Both DSPR and IOCC propose to follow the RRF with a more comprehensive, six-month, joint ACT Appeal.

In the coming week, the ACT CO will organize a conference call among all interested members to discuss the current situation, the RRF and the possibility/member support of an Appeal.

Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jessie Kgoroeadira, ACT Finance Officer (jkg@act-intl.org).

Thank you for your attention.

For further information please contact:

ACT Director, John Nduna (phone +41 22 791 6033 or mobile phone + 41 79 203 6055) or

ACT Program Officer, Michael Zschiegner (phone +41 22 791 6420) or Barbara Wetsig (+41 22 791 6230)

ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org