Posts Tagged ‘Aid

Emergency Aid to Palestine – Where & How to Help

with 3 comments


(Okay, three ways. Numbers one and two are below. The third way is to know what’s going on — what’s really going on between Israel and the Palestinians —  which is largely not reported in the media. I offer a few links at the bottom of this post. The perspectives from the ground can always be found by googling gaza + human rights. Also, this site, Human Right in Gaza and Israel During the Hostilities, offers emergency updates from Israeli human rights organizations on the impacts to civilians in this area.) 


First, Start with Your Voice. It’s as Good as Gold.


It goes without saying: Even the most noble relief efforts are powerless to help the people of Palestine, so long as the occupying power, Israel, forbids the entry of food, water, medical supplies, blankets and fuel into the area. And all efforts toward peace are powerless, so long as Israel’s aggression against the Palestinians remains unchanged. Today, give the Palestinians power, through your voice, in whatever ways you are able, starting with a letter to our incoming president, Barack Obama, at  

As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said to a group of reformers: 

“I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”

Barrack Obama knows what’s right. Now, let’s make sure he does it.  Again, send your comments to incoming President, Barack Obama at and also send a few words to our incoming Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, if you can figure out how to reach her.  Because, face it, Israel ain’t gonna change, so long as it has the unconditional love and support of our American leaders, American dollars and the American war machine. It’s time our foreign policy reflect the will of the American people.   


 *Spread the word, share this art! Use this image wherever you can — on posters,  t-shirts, banners, zines, papers, magazines. Make it visible everywhere. High-resolution downloads are available at Carolos Latuff’s DeviantArt webpage.

Next: Donate Money If You Can 


The following organizations, listed in no particular order, provide both emergency and long-term aid to the Palestinian citizens of Gaza.   

(Note: While I cannot vouch for the integrity of any given charity, I have listed only 4-Star Charity Navigator organizations in this list.You may want to do a little research to see which one is the best fit for you. Also, note that — according to Charity Navigator’s methodology — the highest possible good “overall rating” for any given organization falls between 60-65%. Click here for more info on Charity Navigator’s methodology.)


donate now to help us provide humanitarian relief items for families besieged by the military action in Gaza.MercyCorps

(donate; sign petition; view report card; read about their work in Gaza)

ABOUT MERCY CORPS: Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

Mercy Corps works amid disasters, conflicts, chronic poverty and instability to unleash the potential of people who can win against nearly impossible odds. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided $1.5 billion in assistance to people in 106 nations. Supported by headquarters offices in North America and Europe, the agency’s unified global programs employ 3,500 staff worldwide and reach nearly 16.4 million people in more than 35 countries.

Our strategy is to work in countries in transition, where communities are recovering from disaster, conflict or economic collapse. Our experience demonstrates that turmoil and tragedy often create opportunities for lasting, positive change. We add our greatest value on the ground by supporting those pockets of positive change with community-led and market-driven action.

Core Values:

  • We believe in the intrinsic value and dignity of human life.
  • We are awed by human resilience, and believe in the ability of all people to thrive, not just exist.
  • Our spiritual and humanitarian values compel us to act.
  • We believe that all people have the right to live in peaceful communities and participate fully in the decisions that affect their lives.
  • We believe that human imagination and energy can inspire innovative solutions to any problem, no matter how intractable.
  • We believe that it is our duty to be effective stewards of the financial resources entrusted to us.


 British Red Cross

(donate; member of the FundRaising Standards Board (UK);read about their work in Gaza)

ABOUT THE BRITISH RED CROSS: The British Red Cross is a volunteer-led humanitarian organisation that helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. The British Red Cross has launched an appeal in response to the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza and Israel.

In Gaza, Palestine Red Crescent hospitals, medical teams and ambulances are responding to the needs of people around the clock. The International Committee of the Red Cross’ (ICRC) main operational priority is to support hospitals in Gaza by providing medical supplies, generators and a surgical team.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has donated £205,000 to deliver basic relief items to meet the needs of 800 people in the form of food and non-food relief, and emergency shelter. It is also supporting the Egyptian Red Crescent Society, which is helping get medical supplies into Gaza and evacuating critically wounded people to hospital.

In Israel, the Magen David Adom (National Society of Israel) is on high alert and is providing first aid and ambulance services.

The British Red Cross has contributed £75,000 from its Disaster Fund to the Palestine Red Crescent’s relief effort, offered assistance to Magen David Adom and has six delegates with the ICRC in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Read more.



American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA)

(donate; view report card; read about their work in Gaza)

ABOUT AMERICAN NEAR EAST REFUGEE AID: ANERA is a leading provider of development, health, education and employment programs to Palestinian communities and impoverished families throughout the Middle East.

Incorporated in 1968 to help ease the suffering of Palestinian refugees after the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, ANERA is non-political and non-religious and is one of the largest American non-profits working solely in the Middle East for 40 years. In fiscal year 2008, ANERA delivered more than $50 million worth of donated medicine and medical supplies into Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon.

With offices in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan, ANERA employs more than 60 full-time staff who are locally hired and work with local partners. ANERA helps local institutions become more self-sufficient and effective in serving their communities. Every project is planned in consultation with the communities that ultimately benefit – an approach that ensures relevancy and commitment, and secures the long-term viability of the projects.

ANERA is a registered 501(c)3 non-governmental organization and a founding member of InterAction, a coalition of over 160 US-based non-profits working to promote worldwide development. We received our sixth consecutive rating of 4 stars from Charity Navigator, an overseer of fiscal responsibility. This distinctive rank is earned by only 3% of rated nonprofits.

ANERA’s work is made possible through the support of thousands of private donors around the world and grants from numerous public and private institutions.

SEE ALSO: A letter from ANERA President, Bill Corcoran on the Gaza crisis.


Islamic Relief




Islamic Relief USA

(donate; view report card; read about their work in Gaza)

ABOUT ISLAMIC RELIEF USA: Islamic Relief strives to alleviate the suffering, hunger, illiteracy and diseases worldwide without regard to color, race or creed and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. It aims to provide rapid relief in the event of man-made or natural disasters. In addition, it establishes development projects in needy areas to help tackle poverty, illiteracy and disease at a local level.

Islamic Relief operates a wide variety of projects throughout the world, including education and training, water and sanitation, income generation, orphan support, health and nutrition, and emergency relief.

Some of Islamic Relief’s other domestic projects have included the response effort to Hurricane Katrina, which provided over $3 million in aid, supporting over 60,000 people. Other efforts have included the support of the UMMA Community Clinic, toy drives for disadvantaged children, community support programs, and much more.

SEE ALSO: A January 7, 2009 article on this group’s current work in Gaza, titled “An Aids Worker’s Diary,” published here at BBC News


Save the Children

(donate; view report card; read about their work in Gaza)

ABOUT SAVE THE CHILDREN: Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating real and lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. It is a member of the International Save the Children Alliance, comprising 28 national Save the Children organizations working in more than 110 countries to ensure the well-being of children.

In addition to this work, Save the Children responds to emergencies around the world that put at risk the survival, protection, and well-being of significant numbers of children. We are on the ground delivering assistance very quickly, often with local staff in advance of a disaster, and we stay on the scene long afterwards.



World Vision

(donate; view report card; read about their work in Gaza)

ABOUT WORLD VISION: (Updated January 2, 2009) World Vision targets 50,000 people with emergency assistance in Gaza. As soon as the situation in Gaza permits, World Vision plans to provide food parcels, blankets, and other basic supplies to the most vulnerable families – particularly those who have fled their homes, seeking sanctuary from the shelling.

“Our priority now is to assist those who are living in intolerable conditions with limited access to food, water, or medical facilities,” said Charles Clayton, World Vision’s national director for Jerusalem-West Bank-Gaza. “Eighty percent of the people in Gaza are already dependent on food aid, and even those who had relied on a meager daily income now find that it is no longer available,” added Clayton.

At a later stage, World Vision will develop cash or food for work activities, to help families provide for basics like medication, food, water, and household supplies.

Report highlights humanitarian emergency:

Additionally, World Vision issued a report highlighting disturbing findings of a baseline survey conducted in the Beit Lahya community in North Gaza on Dec. 18. Significant findings include:

More than 33 percent of families in Beit Lahya have 10 or more family members and live in extreme poverty. They rely on coupons for food and cannot afford to adequately clothe and educate their children.
Among children, bedwetting and nightmares featured heavily in focus group findings – both linked with fear and anxiety as a result of the ongoing conflict. “Most children with nightmares experience lack of concentration and attention deficit disorders,” shared a teacher in a focus group session.
While nearly every household in Beit Lahya has access to water, the quality is so poor that 95 percent of households have to buy their drinking water. Many children are affected by parasites and diarrhea, which is adequately treated in only 24 percent of cases.

Violence taking its toll:

World Vision staff in Gaza noted that after six days of bombing, the number of children showing signs of trauma is rapidly increasing. With shelling going on hourly and randomly, World Vision’s activities in the Gaza Strip have come to a halt. Staff are checking daily on the well-being and safety of 1,500 children and their families who are part of the organization’s regular aid activities and support.

World Vision continues to advocate for a complete cessation of violence, and for all parties to respect international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention.



United Palestinian Appeal, Inc.

(donate: view report card; read about their work in Gaza)

ABOUT UNITED PALESTINIAN APPEAL, INC: Established in 1978, United Palestinian Appeal, Inc. (UPA) is dedicated to providing aid to Palestinians in need, especially children, in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. UPA provides both emergency humanitarian relief and long-term development programs to Palestinian communities striving for economic and social development in the wake of ongoing conflict.  We strive to deliver efficient charitable services at low overhead costs in the areas of education, health care, child sponsorship, and agricultural and community development.

UPA maintains its independence and integrity as a strictly humanitarian organization by not accepting funds from political groups or from any source that may attach unacceptable conditions to its contributions. UPA is a member of the Independent Charities of America (ICA) and a participating agency of the Combined Federal Campaign (listed as CFC #11346).


International Medical Corps

(donate; view report card; read about their work in Gaza)

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS (IMC): International Medical Corps (IMC) is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs.

Mission: From Relief to Self-Reliance

Established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses, IMC is a private, voluntary, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide. 

International Medical Corps (IMC) has activated its regional response team and has secured emergency health kits for shipment into Gaza in response to the growing humanitarian crisis that has resulted from the conflict between Hamas and Israeli forces.



An additional charity working in Palestine:

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (While this organization has a 3-star rating at Charity Navigator, I include them because they appear to do such good works and may be deserving of a closer look).  

Here is there mission statement:
The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) is a non-political organization established in 1991 by concerned people in the U.S. to address the medical and humanitarian crisis facing Palestinian youths in the Middle East. The main objective of the PCRF is to identify and treat every child in the Middle East in need of specialized surgery not available to them locally. We locate, sponsor and run volunteer medical missions to the Middle East in adult and pediatric cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, maxillofacial surgery, pediatric urology, ophthalmology, vascular surgery, pediatric orthopedic surgery, occupational therapy, and other specialties. Since our founding, over 800 children have been, or currently are being treated, outside of the Middle East through the PCRF.




Dissident Voice

Global Voices

Gush Shalom


The Jerusalem Fund

Articles by and about former U.S. President Jimmy Carter:

An Unnecessary War  –Washington Post 1/9/2009

Carter urges ‘supine’ Europe to break with US over Gaza blockade — 5/26/2008

A Human Rights Crime:  The world must stop standing idle while the people of Gaza are treated with such cruelty  — 5/8/2008

Carter: Gaza Residents ‘Starving to Death’ — ynet news 4/18/2008

Ma’an News Agency

Norman Finkelstein

The Palestine Chronicle

Reporters Without Borders

Spidered News

ZNet (this links to a specific article with a history on U.S. & Hamas)




HURRICANE IKE (and Paloma!) VICTIMS NEED YOUR HELP! Here are the links you need to send donations to the relief agencies working in the U.S., Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas

with 3 comments


UPDATE: Hurricane Paloma has devastated Cuba. See the links below for relief agencies working with Cuba.

The recent hurricanes have devastated Louisiana, Texas, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas. The impoverished nation of Haiti, alone, has seen 3 major storms (Hanna, Gustav and Ike) in the past 3 weeks. People are suffering throughout the Caribbean and the Gulf states of the U.S. The good news is that several agencies are providing relief — food, water, shelter, beds and clothing — along with medical care, emotional support and efforts toward re-building. The good news is also that you can help.

See the links, below, to make a tax-deductible donation to one of these relief efforts.

Did your grandma ever tell you: “Many hands make light work”? Mine did, and she was right. Whether you’re talking about day-to-day cooking, cleaning and gardening, or helping the neighbor down the road whose house was hit by a tornado, it was and still is true. Many hands make light work. Remember this, as you decide whether you can afford to give to these relief efforts. Any donation amount — small, medium or large — is a blessing to the storm victims and to those folks on the ground who are providing the humanitarian care we’d all be doing ourselves, as neighbors, if only we could be there. Let your heart work through their hands. Donate. 



RED CROSS: DONATE HERE to support the the Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund to aid recent U.S. hurricane victims in Texas and Louisiana.  Alternately, you can donate here at the Red Cross’ general donation page, where you may then direct your donation to a specific geography (U.S. vs. International aid) or to “Where the Need is Greatest.” The minimum donation is $10. Should you wish to donate via phone or snail mail, the information is provided on the donation pages.  

Galveston in ruins after Hurricane Ike __________________________________________________________________________



RED CROSS: DONATE HERE to support the Red Cross International Response Fund to aid recent hurricane victims in Haiti and the Bahamas. From this same page, you can alternately choose specific efforts, including “Where the Need is Greatest.” which is always appreciated by the Red Cross as they juggle their emergency efforts between various needs.

CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES: DONATE HERE to support the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) disaster relief efforts to provide emergency food, shelter, water and other basic needs, along with medical care and long-term needs. There is a space on this page where you may optionally type in a specific area where you would like your donation to be directed (e.g. Haiti, the Bahamas), as well as the opportunity to have your donation given in someone’s honor or memory.  There is also info on this page for donating via phone or mail. With a 60-year history in providing humanitarian aid, Catholic Relief Services has a strong background in emergency preparedness and response. With 94% of their donations going directly to their programs, CRS has earned an A+ grade with the American Institute of Philantrophy. 

FOOD FOR THE POOR: DONATE HERE to support this worthy organization’s disaster relief efforts in Haiti. Payments can be made either online or through the mail. Their report card is impressive, with 96.8% of donations going directly to programs. Read here for charitable watch-group endorsements

p.s. While you’re at their site, check out the other humanitarian works by this fine faith-based organization. Their work is truly amazing and goes far beyond simple “Food for the Poor.” Their “Home Again 2008” project is but one example (see before and after photos, right).

Awe inspiring: For the same price some folks in the U.S. might pay for a summer vacation ($2,600) you could buy a house for a family in Haiti. Check it out here, blueprints and all. Give to this effort, too, if you can.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to buy a house for a family? 



CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES: DONATE HERE to support the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) disaster relief efforts to provide emergency food, shelter, water and other basic needs, along with medical care and long-term needs. There is a space on this page where you may optionally type in a specific area where you would like your donation to be directed (e.g. Cuba, Haiti, the Bahamas), as well as the opportunity to have your donation given in someone’s honor or memory.  There is also info on this page for donating via phone or mail. With a 60-year history in providing humanitarian aid, Catholic Relief Services has a strong background in emergency preparedness and response. With 94% of their donations going directly to their programs, CRS has earned an A+ grade with the American Institute of Philantrophy. 

GREATER MIAMI JEWISH FEDERATION: DONATE HERE to support humanitarian relief efforts in Cuba for the devastation from Hurricane Ike. On the donation page, there are options to pay online (either in full or in installments) or to pay via phone or mail. This organization is working in both Haiti and Cuba. If you like, you can specifically direct your donation to Cuba, by typing CUBA in the comments section. One-hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts in Haiti & Cuba. 

OPERATION USA: DONATE HERE to support medical humanitarian efforts in Cuba. As this organization works in many countries, you will want to specify Cuba on the donation page by typing something along the lines of CUBA HURRICANE RELIEF in the comments section at the bottom. You can donate online or pay via phone or mail, per the info on the donation page. With 98% of their donations going directly into their program, this organization has earned a 4-star, “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator. (see their home page for more info).

THE DISARM EDUCATION FUND: DONATE HERE to support humanitarian efforts to provide desperately needed medical relief to Cubans — doctors, surgeons, medical supplies, etc. There is a drop-down menu on the donation page to designate your donation to Hurricane relief. You can also make your donation in the honor or memory of a loved one or a cause. See Ed Asner’s letter on this site, urging aid for hurricane victims. Their charity report card is not as good as it could be, with 77% of donations going directly into their program work, according to Charity Navigator. The good news is that you can, alternately …

SIGN A PETITION TO END THE U.S. EMBARGO AGAINST CUBA: CLICK HERE to sign the the Disarm Education Fund’s petition to end the U.S. embargo against Cuba. This petition, along with addt’l info on the embargo, is located on the Disarm Education Fund website. Signing this petition is a no-cost way to make the world a better place. 


See these links to read news and updates on the storm devastation, along with the relief needs & efforts being made in these areas:

Haiti Innovation: Choice, Partnership, Community

The Jamaica Observer: Digicel Donates US$1 Million Toward Hurricane Relief in Haiti

Catholic Relief Services: Storms Turn Haiti’s Roads into Rivers

Food For the Poor: Hanna Catastrophic for Haiti

Greater Miami Jewish Federation: Federation Collecting Funds for Hurricane Victims in Haiti, Cuba

Red Cross: Red Cross Provides Shelter as Ike Hits Land in Texas (read specifics on their good works in the 4-state area affected by Hurricane Ike)

Red Cross: Red Cross Responds to Caribbean Hurricanes

LA Times: Hurricanes and Haiti

The Sun: Hurricane Ike Chaos in Cuba

NPR: Cuba, Pounded by Ike, Rejects U.S. Aid


Miami Herald: Aid’s path to Haiti, Cuba is Fraught with Obstacles 

Miami Herald: How to Help Hurricane Victims — Contact info for assisting with relief efforts in the U.S. and throughout the Caribbean.

Xinhua: Cuba Rejects Again U.S. Strings-Attached Hurricane Aid