OPT: ACT Rapid Response Payment No. 11/2007 - Civil strife in Gaza

News and Press Release
Originally published

Funds Sent To: Middle East Council of Churches / Department of Service to Palestine Refugees

Amount Sent: US$ 48,864

Date: 20 June 2007

Details of Payment

Emergency: Civil Strife in Gaza

Date of Emergency: June 10 -15, 2007

Implementing Partner: Middle East Council of Churches / Department of Service to Palestine Refugees

MECC/DSPR is the Department of Service to Palestine Refugees, founded in 1950 and affiliated with the Middle East Council of Churches since 1974. The primary objective of MECC/DSPR is to provide services in the areas of health, education, including vocational training, community development and village infrastructure to Palestinian refugees and vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel.

Details of the Emergency: Gaza has witnessed a week of intensive factional infighting between Hamas and Fatah which left over 650 casualties of whom 116 killed. Aside from injury and death, it is clear according to John Ging, the Gaza director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), that the fighting left Gazans "shell-shocked" and in more need of assistance. "We have .... a people who are bewildered and shell-shocked from their circumstances from the violence," he said. "They are miserable [circumstances] and they are leading to the chaos and violence. We need to change those conditions. Otherwise we can expect more."

Christiane Hohmann, the European Commission's external affairs spokeswoman, said EU humanitarian workers were withdrawn on Wednesday, when fighting between Fatah and Hamas forces escalated. She said that food and water for Gaza would last two weeks, she added, but first aid supplies and medication were desperately needed. According to Constantine Dabbagh, Executive Director of the Gaza Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches, the current infighting in Gaza is to leave its impact on the continued pauperization of families. Mr. Dabbagh has predicted that given the uncertain political situation, thousands of families across the Gaza Strip would be in dire need for emergency assistance in the months ahead. Mr. Dabbagh is worried that if the political conditions do not improve, following the factional infighting, that access to food, cash and other needed essentials would become more difficult.

Purpose of Response: To provide needed cash assistance to families in order to buy basic provisions, children's nutrition and other needed family supplies.

Beneficiary information and location of response: Immediate relief support to be offered to 950 families across all of the localities of the Gaza Strip. DSPR Gaza has been providing social services to nearly 10,000 families in Gaza. All of whose information they have on file. For this immediate intervention, DSPR Gaza will chose the most vulnerable of those cases for priority assistance.

Proposed Assistance:

Goal: To provide emergency cash assistance: a sum of money equivalent to US$50/family to the most needy families. This will help cover some of the family's basic living necessities through the option of prioritizing spending.


- To ensure that the 950 families throughout the Gaza Strip have cash at hand to provide for essential commodities for one month.

- To employ on a contract basis 2 social workers, 1 secretary and 1 clerk to help in the implementation of the immediate relief support.

Implementation Methodology

The head of the family will come on appointment to the DSPR Gaza office where the social worker will prepare a brief social case study to contain basic information on the family members (i.e. ID number, address, date of birth, health conditions, previous employment etc.) for future reference. The amount of NIS 208.5 (US$50) will be issued later by our cashier against a receipt voucher duly signed by the recipient noting that under no circumstances any other person can cash the relief assistance except the wife, if the head of the family is incapacitated.

DSPR Gaza coordinates with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Governorates, municipalities and local NGOs who will recommend the names of the families whom we will verify on our computer to ensure that they have not received assistance from NECCCRW within at least a year.

For this RRF, and due to the limited number of families, DSPR Gaza plans to invite mainly a number of NGOs to provide us with the names while arrangements will be made with the governorates and others in preparation for the next main appeal.

Implementation Period: Starting June 25, 2007 – ending date July 24, 2007

DSPR/MECC is in the process of preparing an ACT Appeal. This Appeal would be dispatched within the next couple of days to ACT Geneva Office for their input, partner consultation and decision making.


Type of
No of
Unit Cost
Local currency
Local currency
Direct assistance - Gaza
Relief Assistance
Cash assistance to Gaza Strip families
Total Direct Assistance
Personnel, admin, Ops & Support
Social Workers Gaza (2)
Secretary Gaza (1)
Clerk Gaza (1)
Subtotal personnel
Exchange Rate: 1 NIS = US$ 0.24*


The ACT Co-ordinating Office has approved the use of US$ 48,864 towards the budget from its Rapid Response Fund and would be grateful to receive contributions to wholly or partially replenish this payment. Should there be an appeal for this emergency, the RRF payment will be considered as an advance.


* Note that the exchange rate with the USD is fluctuating from day-to-day. This may effect the actual amount of NIS given to each family.

For further information please contact:

John Nduna, ACT Director
Phone: ++41 22 791 6032
Email: jhn@act-intl.org


Barbara Wetsig, ACT Programme Officer
Phone: ++ 41 22 791 6230
Email: bwe@act-intl.org

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