Jerusalem-West Bank-Gaza: World Vision supplies emergency food rations to vulnerable families in Gaza

In preparation for a war on Iraq and its possible repercussions in Gaza, Word Vision is pre-positioning 2,500 relief kits in high risk locations.
Based on the experience of the first Gulf War, transporting humanitarian relief items as well as the movement of humanitarian staff will be highly restricted. Moreover, many of the mobile staff, such as expatriates might be ordered by their embassies to evacuate the country, which will impact ongoing humanitarian assistance. Relief packages will include long life food items such as dried and canned food, as well as blankets and hygiene items. Items will be purchased locally, packed in cardboard boxes, labelled and sorted by reliable local partners that operate in those locations. Blankets will be packed separately to enable flexibility in distribution. Each package will contain US $48 worth of items and is expected to last a family of seven for one month. The total value of this preparedness project totals US$120,000, which comes from World Vision's International Relief Fund (EPRF).

For two years, Israeli military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have severely restricted movement for Palestinians through checkpoints and 24 hour curfews. The impact on the Palestinian economy has been devastating. During the past 29 months, some 220,000 Palestinians have lost their jobs as economic activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip come to an end and people are no longer able to travel to their jobs in Israel.

The Gaza Strip has been particularly hard hit over the past two years. Unemployment is now well over 50 percent in Gaza, while estimates of poverty rates range between 70- 85 percent of the population surviving on less than $2 per day. The conditions are expected to worsen should a war begin in Iraq.

In the event of a strike on Iraq, World Vision is expecting that Palestinians will be more severely restricted, curfews will be extended and that large numbers of Palestinians will be displaced by the Israeli military.