Supporting Access to Family Planning and Post-Abortion Care in Emergencies (SAFPAC)
CARE's Work in West Bank and Gaza
Crisis in the Gaza Strip
CARE currently works throughout the Gaza Strip in poor communities affected by conflict whose security, human rights and livelihoods have been undermined by a naval and land blockade that was instituted in June 2007. We pay particular attention to women and girls who bear the brunt of conflict and poverty that affects 1.6 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Land and naval blockade has severely curtailed the ability of Gaza households to generate income, separated families, reduced educational opportunities and limited access to vital medical services. Today, people are still unemployed and underemployed, dependent on humanitarian aid and unable to travel abroad save for a very few pre-approved medical cases. Escalating violence increases peoples' suffering and further jeopardizes their security and ability to rebuild their livelihoods and reclaim their dignity.
Our programming helps the poorest and most vulnerable families meet their basic food needs, by providing fresh foods, health and social services. We also support families dependent on agriculture as their source of income, by introducing new techniques that improve the quantity and quality of their products; strengthening their ability to sell their products for fair prices; and empowering women to earn an income.
CARE also assists in mobilizing community leaders, young adult mentors and parents in an effort to improve the mental health, academic performance and social skills of children between the ages of 9-13 who have been traumatized by war.
In addition, we're helping strengthen the capacity of local organizations to support their neighbors in times of crisis, and to act as hubs of social, cultural and economic support.
CARE's response to recent conflicts
Gaza faced a major crisis in 2008. A violent conflict began on December 27, 2008, which caused the humanitarian situation to deteriorate. The three-week conflict resulted in nearly 1,000 civilian deaths and left thousands maimed and injured. CARE responded within hours agter the start of the conflict, distributing urgently-needed food, medicine and emergencies supplies to families, hospitals and orphanages. In early January 2009, we carried out one of the first surveys of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, showing a sobering 89 percent of respondents had not received assistance. We provided basic non-food items such as blankets, personal hygiene kits, and household cleaning supplies to Gazans displaced by the conflict, helping more than 211,894 people.
In November 2012, there was another spike in violence that lasted for eight days and caused civilians in Gaza and Israel to fear another widespread humanitarian disaster. CARE's office was damaged in air strikes. However, we continued our emergency response with 80,000 vulnerable residents of the Gaza Strip, while calling for an end to the violence along with other humanitarian agencies.
CARE has a long-term commitment to engage Palestinian communities in development processes that enable them to determine their futures, realize their rights and live in peace and dignity. CARE empowers Palestinian local organizations to become more effective advocates of their own interests and rights. CARE also promotes gender equality as a fundamental element of our work to fight poverty and improve standards of living.
For example, "Empowering Women - Transforming Communities, Bena'a" is a 36-month project in Gaza to contribute to poverty eradication and promote gender equality and women's empowerment. The project is carried out by building the capacity of local, grassroots organizations so they can advocate for the interests of, and strengthen the social, political and economic roles of women in their communities.
In addition, CARE advocates for conflict mitigation and work with various audiences to create a network of Palestinian women, men, children, and community-based organizations that are skilled in developing conflict mitigation and resolutions.
How CARE works in emergencies
RESPONDING TODAY, PREPARING FOR TOMORROW
In 2011 alone, CARE reached 12 million people affected by natural disasters, conflict situations and other crises.