Dutch Relief Alliance partners are calling on all parties to protect civilians and to ensure safe and unhindered access for humanitarian actors in Gaza. Dutch Relief Alliance partners have started an Acute Crisis Joint Response to assist people in need of urgent humanitarian aid in Gaza. As a result of the escalation of violence on 7 October 2023, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding on an unprecedented and alarming scale.
In Gaza people have limited or no access to basic needs such as water, food, electricity, healthcare and shelter. The Gaza Acute Crisis Joint Response consortium, in cooperation with their local partners, provides life-saving activities in Gaza including water, sanitation and hygiene support, protection including psychosocial support, healthcare and multipurpose cash assistance. The Joint Response will last for six months and will target more than 50.000 individuals. The alliance partners are preparing the response to start as soon as the situation allows.
The current total blockade of Gaza and intense fighting have made humanitarian access impossible. The violence that has flooded Gaza over the last week has created unprecedented humanitarian need. In ten days more than 3.478 people have been killed in Gaza including more than 853 children (source: UNOCHA 18 October 2023). Hundreds of thousands of children and families in Gaza have been displaced and entire neighborhoods have been destroyed. Due to lack of medical supplies, water and electricity, hospitals cannot function fully anymore.
We call upon the Dutch government and the international community to urge all parties to agree to an immediate humanitarian cease fire that enables humanitarian assistance to be delivered in Gaza. This requires all parties to immediately pause the fighting and facilitate the provision of essential and life-saving relief assistance, including food, water, and medical supplies and care, as well as access and safety of humanitarian personnel into Gaza.
We strongly emphasise the responsibility of all parties to unequivocally uphold international law and prioritise the protection of civilians to avert further suffering and loss of human life.
Contact: Juliette Verhoeven, juliette.verhoeven[at]savethechildren.nl or +31640931544
Photo: Destruction in Gaza following escalations May 2021, Mohammad Libed-OCHA Photo Archive