CLWR requests support for humanitarian aid in Gaza



    WINNIPEG, Jan. 7 /CNW/ - Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR),
www.clwr.org, and its partners in the region have taken action to address the
humanitarian needs of the many Palestinians who are unable to escape the
escalating violence in the Gaza Strip. Funds to support immediate relief
efforts are needed.
    The agency is cooperating with other members of Action by Churches
Together (ACT) International, including the Lutheran World Federation (LWF),
to respond to emergency needs as the situation develops. Priority relief
measures in the coming days and weeks include the provision of food items like
rice, flour and high protein biscuits; cooking fuel; blankets; medical
supplies; as well as psychosocial counselling.
    Aid workers report desperate circumstances. Food is in extremely short
supply. Fuel is running low. Mobile medical clinics have been destroyed by
Israeli air strikes. Hospitals continue to receive a steady stream of
patients, many of them civilians who were struck by shrapnel or falling debris
while sitting in their homes.
    "No one goes out on the streets except if they really have to," said Omar
Almajdalawi from Jabalia in Gaza, an aid worker with ACT International member
DanChurchAid. He tells that most people now live with open windows, despite
the cold, so that the glass does not break into a hundred pieces from the
impact of missiles exploding in the area.
    At the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, a ministry of the Episcopal
Diocese of Jerusalem, supported by ACT International members, staff have been
working around the clock to cope with casualties and are exhausted. Director
Dr. Suhaila Tarazi reports "the hospital is in urgent need of medicine and
supplies. There is no electricity in all of Gaza and so we are currently
running off of generator power. We have very little supplies left - enough to
last for another week. If this crisis continues, we will be in a very dire
situation."
    CLWR has a long history of humanitarian work in the region through the
LWF, including support for the Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) in East
Jerusalem. AVH offers specialized medical services like cancer treatment and
dialysis to Palestinians. The hospital does treat some cancer patients from
Gaza and will need additional funds to cover the costs of housing, food,
transportation, and other support for these patients and accompanying family
members who are unable to return to Gaza.
    Contributions for this emergency response can be made at
www.clwr.org/donate. CLWR forwards 100 percent of all donations designated for
emergency response measures, retaining no portion for administration costs.





For further information:

For further information: Daranne Harris, CLWR Communication Director,
(204) 631-0504 office, (204) 612-0886 cell, dharris@clwr.mb.ca, www.clwr.org

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CANADIAN LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF (CLWR)

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