Project HOPE Responds to the Israel-Gaza Conflict
Organization Joins Calls for Humanitarian Access to Gaza to Prevent Further Loss of Civilian Life
Washington, DC (16 October 2023) – As the ongoing Israel-Gaza Conflict enters its second week with civilian deaths mounting, the global health and humanitarian organization Project HOPE has deployed staff to the region to address urgent needs, while joining urgent calls for humanitarian access for Gaza to avoid escalating an already horrific humanitarian crisis. Project HOPE now has emergency response personnel in Israel and Egypt coordinating with local authorities, UN agencies, and civil society to coordinate the delivery of aid for both Israel and Gaza. In Israel, Project HOPE is working to support hospitals near the southern border to provide urgently needed medical equipment and supplies, and to repair medical structures that were damaged in Hamas’ attack. Project HOPE is also working to preposition medical and relief supplies and has mobile medical teams on standby in Jordan – through local partners – ready to deploy when humanitarian access is permitted into Gaza.
“What has transpired over the last week in both Israel and Gaza is nothing short of horrifying. We’ve witnessed an immense loss of civilian life – the majority of which have been women and children, and we strongly condemn these attacks. Gaza is now in the midst of a humanitarian catastrophe: families are sheltering in schools and hospitals, with little to no food or water, at least half a million people have been displaced from their homes, and others are facing forced evacuations, while health workers are risking their lives to provide medical care with limited supplies and electricity,” said Rabih Torbay, Project HOPE’s President & CEO. “As a humanitarian organization, we are very concerned about the increasing humanitarian needs and the fact that health facilities are running out of power and supplies. Project HOPE joins the call for immediate humanitarian access for Gaza. Without humanitarian access, we will be mourning unimaginable Palestinian civilian casualties. We urge the Egyptian and Israeli governments to work together to open the Rafah border crossings to allow safe passage for vulnerable Palestinian civilians including urgent medical cases that cannot be treated in Gaza, without prejudice to their right to return to Gaza.”
As the conflict escalates, impacted communities need mental health support, medical care, and basic needs. In Gaza – where a blockade of food, fuel, water, and gasoline is underway – there is a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding and families lack the basic requirements to survive. As air strikes continue across the densely populated territory, civilians are unable to adequately shelter or escape, so we can expect to continue to see a rise in civilian casualties. Additionally, without electricity and fuel, hospitals and health facilities are unable to function and treat the wounded. In Israel, while the majority of immediate medical needs have been met, hospitals near the Gaza border are in need of medical equipment and repair. In both Israel and Gaza, there will be a long-term need for mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) for affected families and communities.
“Violent conflicts of this nature always have a disproportionate impact on people in vulnerable situations, particularly women, children, people with disabilities, and older adults. Already, over 1,400 people in Israel and 2,700 people in Gaza, including at least 720 children, have been killed,” said Arlan Fuller, Project HOPE’s Director of Emergency Preparedness & Response. “Health workers in and near the conflict are in desperate need of medicines, medical equipment, fuel, and other lifesaving supplies. We must ensure that even in the chaos of war, civilians have access to essential health care and basic needs like shelter, food, and water.”
Project HOPE is continuing to act in coordination with partners in Israel, Gaza, Egypt, the West Bank, Jordan, and Lebanon to assess how and when we can best support the health and humanitarian needs of impacted communities, while remaining committed to the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence.
Project HOPE has team members available for interviews. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact [email protected].
About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is a leading global health and humanitarian organization operating in more than 25 countries around the world. We work side-by-side with local health systems to save lives and improve health. Our mission is at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges, including infectious and chronic diseases, disasters and health crises, maternal, neonatal and child health and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. For more information on Project HOPE and its work around the world, visit www.ProjectHOPE.org and follow us on socials @ProjectHOPEorg.