Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie is backing the Disasters Emergency Committee Gaza Crisis appeal, and has called for more help for those who are struggling to survive as a result of the armed conflict.
“Thousands of innocent people have been caught up in the unfolding crisis in Gaza. They are vulnerable and suffering and need our help in this very difficult time,” said Cathy
Cathy said that she was disappointed that the BBC had chosen not to broadcast the DEC appeal.
“Gaza is where the help is needed. Humanitarian assistance doesn’t take sides – it just recognises need. The destruction in Gaza has left people without homes, children without schooling, and there are shortages of power, food, medicines and water supplies. That is why I am backing this appeal and hope others will do likewise. I have written to local pharmacies seeking their help with medical supplies, and I’m asking people to send in their donations urgently.”
Leading Scottish aid agencies are appealing to the public for urgently needed funds to help ease the desperate plight of people affected by the conflict in Gaza. Donations can be made by calling the 24 hour donation phone line on 0370 60 60 900, visiting http://www.dec.org.uk or at any Oxfam, Red Cross or Save the Children shop. Over 1,300 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, and many thousands have been injured, overwhelming local hospitals. Agencies that make up the DEC are already delivering life-saving food, water, shelter and emergency medical supplies to those affected, but the scale of the crisis means much more is needed.
Launching the Disasters Emergency Committee Gaza Crisis Appeal in Scotland, Chair Judith Robertson said that the devastation wrought in the Gazan territory was so huge that Scottish aid agencies were compelled to act. She said:
“DEC agencies have a humanitarian mandate. We are not proposing to attempt to rebuild Gaza – that is not our role. But with the public’s support we can help relieve short-term needs. Agencies are already providing food, drugs and blankets as well as delivering clean water. But we will soon reach the limit of what we can do, without more money. For Gazans struggling to survive, receiving urgent humanitarian aid will help them take the first step to recovery.”
Ms. Robertson stressed that DEC aid agencies were non-political.
“We work on the basis of humanitarian need and there is an urgent need in Gaza today. Political solutions are for others to resolve, but what is of major concern to us all is that many innocent people have been affected by the situation – and it is them that we seek to help.”
Notes to editors: The DEC in Scotland consists of: British Red Cross, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Oxfam, Save the Children and Tearfund. The DEC in the UK consists of: Action Aid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, World Vision. The Palestinian Ministry of Heath (MOH) has reported 1,314 Palestinian fatalities since 27 December 2008. This is noted in the Situation Report on the Humanitarian Situation in the Gaza Strip – No.14, 19 January 2009 (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).
How to donate: It’s easy to donate. Please visit our website on http://www.dec.org.uk or call the DEC on 0370 60 60 900. We know people are facing financially difficult times but even a small donation makes a difference. Even a small donation to the appeal will help get food, water, shelter, emergency and medical supplies to people who desperately need it.
The DEC criteria to launch an appeal are: The disaster must be on such a scale and of such urgency as to call for swift International humanitarian assistance. The DEC agencies, or some of them, must be in a position to provide effective and swift humanitarian assistance at a scale to justify a national Appeal. There must be sufficient public awareness of, and sympathy for, the humanitarian situation so as to give reasonable grounds for concluding that a public Appeal would be successful.
The DEC press office can be contacted via Kirstie Crawford on 0141 891 4049 / Sharon Reader 4016 / main switchboard 4000 or out-of-hours on 07912 481879.
The pharmacy appeal is being organised through Edinburgh Direct Aid (http://www.edinburghdirectaid.org/)