World Vision begins food aid for children and families in Gaza



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - World Vision began providing food aid
for more than 3,000 people in Gaza today, as aid trickles in to help children
and families struggling to survive in the aftermath of the military operation
by Israel.
    "Given the challenges that we have faced in distributing aid in Gaza due
to the fighting, it is crucial that we immediately reach out in any way we
can," said Charles Clayton, National Director of World Vision Jerusalem-West
Bank-Gaza. "This will provide much needed relief to the most vulnerable
children and their families while we await arrival of our full food
distributions."
    World Vision has partnered with a local church in Gaza City to distribute
food vouchers to families. Each voucher can be redeemed at a local supplier in
exchange for a parcel including oil, canned tuna and rice, which will provide
enough for a family to eat for three weeks. Each family will also receive an
illustrated brochure in Arabic that warns them about the dangers of unexploded
ordnance and how to recognize it. Unexploded ordnance is particularly
dangerous to children as it is often small and mistaken for toys.
    The voucher system has allowed a jump-start to providing emergency relief
within Gaza while World Vision's delivery of additional humanitarian supplies
by truck awaits transport by UN convoy. With many families struggling from the
widespread loss of basic possessions and the scarcity of supplies, World
Vision is scaling up its emergency response to help more than 100,000 people
from the initial 50,000 planned.
    World Vision will distribute 16,000 Family Emergency Kits, which include
canned tuna and beef, vegetable oil, beans, lentils, tea, biscuits and an
unexploded ordnance brochure. World Vision will also be distributing 8,000
blankets and 8,000 hygiene kits. The first of these shipments, for more than
1,144 families, will supply enough food to last for up to three months.
    World Vision donors support more than 23,000 children in the West Bank
and Gaza, including 6,000 children sponsored by Canadians in the West Bank.
World Vision began working in Israel and the Palestinian territories in 1975.
    World Vision is accepting donations to assist those affected by the Gaza
conflict. Those wishing to help can visit WorldVision.ca or call
1-800-268-5528.

    World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization
dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome
poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion,
race, ethnicity or gender.





For further information:

For further information: To interview World Vision staff, please
contact: Yoko Kobayashi, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2151, (416) 671-0086 (cell),
yoko_kobayashi@worldvision.ca; Alex Sancton, (905) 565-6200 ext.3949, (416)
419-1321 (cell), alex_sancton@worldvision.ca


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