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Published on 18 October 2023

Our partners tell us that the medical supplies are running out, and that food and water are increasingly scarce. Yet since the conflict broke out, no aid – not a drop of water or a grain of wheat – has entered Gaza.

- William Bell, Christian Aid’s Head of Middle East Policy & Advocacy.

Following the violence that escalated on the morning of Saturday October 7, at least 1,300 Israelis have been killed by militants and nearly 3,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza following days of airstrikes and bombardments by Israel.

The situation facing civilians in Gaza has been made even worse by a full siege, which is depriving more than two million people, half of whom are children, of food, water and electricity.

Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal to help people impacted by escalation of violence across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. Find out more about our Middle East Crisis Appeal.

Why do civilians in Gaza need humanitarian aid?

Thousands have been injured and killed because of airstrikes that have caused widespread destruction of homes, schools, healthcare facilities and telecommunication installations. 

Hospitals, already at breaking point, are now overwhelmed by casualties. With Gaza's only power plant run out of fuel, our partners have confirmed cuts are affecting hospitals, closing food supply to shops and access to water and sanitation services. 

It’s thought that one million people, around half the population, have now been displaced inside Gaza, including over 300,000 people who are sheltering in UN-run schools.

One of our partners whose centre has been transformed into a shelter told us, 'We have been evacuated to Khan Yunis... It is not easy at all. This is the first time in my life I have experienced what it means to be a refugee. What it feels like to be evacuated from your home and not knowing when you will come back.'

Words alone simply cannot paint the picture of the scale of human suffering in Khan Yunis. Hundreds of thousands of people fled there in recent days to seek refuge from the worst of the violence but were met last night with airstrikes.

Our partners in Gaza are ready to respond when access is allowed

Donate and help local responders make a huge difference and bring hope to people in need.

Wilfully impeding relief supplies constitutes a war crime under international law. It amounts to a death sentence for those trapped in Gaza. Thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza are being increasingly imperiled not only by airstrikes, but by hunger and thirst, as its people endure a second week of total siege.

- William Bell.

What will happen in Gaza without humanitarian access?

'Without humanitarian access, Christian Aid and our partners will be prevented from acting on the scale required. Aid can only reach those most in need in Gaza at scale once the crossings open and the bombs stop falling,' explains William Bell. 

As the crisis continues to unfold, the people of Gaza are in need of: 

  • food
  • shelter
  • sanitation
  • protection.

However, right now, it's extremely dangerous to move around, and supplies of essentials are running perilously low. To respond at scale, we need unfettered humanitarian access.

Our established partners in Gaza are ready to respond with medical relief and community-led initiatives as soon as humanitarian access is allowed. Without it, thousands of people face serious illness and death, as supplies of food, health equipment and clean water run out.

Middle East Crisis Action

Join us in calling on the UK Government to do all it can to ensure peace.