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Update: What if the Gaza tunnels close?

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Because of the blockade on Gaza for more than 2 years, only the barest necessities for survival are allowed through the Israeli border. Families in Gaza once relied on daily deliveries of more than 600 trucks filled with food, medical supplies and everyday goods. Currently, an average of 150 trucks per day are allowed to enter. As a result families in Gaza have come to depend on a system of underground tunnels to bring in food and goods.

Now, there is news that the tunnels will be blocked, flooded, and collapsed. The affect of a tighter squeeze on the Gaza economy is hard to contemplate, but we must be ready for this very real possibility.

In response, ANERA is preparing to help by:

Fast forwarding our Household Gardening Project. In 2010 we will increase food security for families by providing training and resources for home gardening. This includes composting, rain water collection, land usage techniques, and even a supply of chickens and goats, which will provide some degree of independence for families struggling to survive. This will cost us $1,000 per family.

Renewing our emergency food delivery program. During and immediately after the attack on Gaza last year we were able to create family food boxes in the West Bank and deliver them into Gaza. In the event of tunnel closures and the loss of major food supplies, we will load trucks with food from the West Bank and deliver them to Gaza. The cost is $75 per family.

Expanding our poultry project. In the last year, we have provided more than 450 families with hens and roosters for breeding chickens and harvesting eggs. This will require $200 per family.

Readying farmland for cultivation. During the past two planting seasons, ANERA has employed laborers to clear farms of heavy agricultural waste products like discarded plastic sheets from hothouses. This program provides much needed income to families looking for work while providing an invaluable service to farmers who would not otherwise be able to do this essential work themselves. This project will cost $35,000.

Asking for help from our international community of donors. Last year, calls and emails were coming in from concerned people around the world who wanted to do something for Gaza. Today, the needs are great and the situation could deteriorate even more. Please donate today.

ANERA is one among a small group of humaniatarian organizations able to make deliveries into Gaza. Last year, we brought 113 truckloads of food and medical supplies through the Israeli border. As the closure of Gaza continues to tighten, families are cut off from a life with the dignity we all deserve. Let's give them a chance.

American Near East Refugee Aid
To learn more about ANERA, please visit http://www.anera.org/.