Peace in the Middle East campaign launches with Gaza focus
In light of the ongoing humanitarian crises in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Gaza, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has launched the Peace in the Middle East campaign to support and stand in solidarity with the thousands of people affected by conflict in the region.
With almost two million Palestinians affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza since early July, the initial focus for fundraising will be on providing medical assistance, food and other necessities through our partner organisation Caritas Jerusalem.
More than 1,700 people have already been killed during Israeli attacks in Gaza, including more than 200 children, and the number of displaced Palestinians continues to climb beyond 400,000.
Through our Peace in the Middle East campaign, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand joins the worldwide Caritas family in calling for a ceasefire in this conflict to allow the most vulnerable to receive much-needed humanitarian aid and take a step towards lasting peace in the Holy Land.
“I am convinced that both peoples will either win together or they will lose together. There is no peace for one people and not for the other,” former Caritas Jerusalem secretary-general, Claudette Habesch said in a Lenten speech given during her visit to New Zealand in March, 2012.
The aim of the Peace in the Middle East campaign is to enable New Zealanders to stand in solidarity and show support for the most vulnerable in the area, while ensuring that Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is able to continue working with partner organisations to make a difference.
Following the conflict that erupted in Iraq in early June this year and the displacement of more than 1.2 million Iraqis, Caritas Iraq launched an initial appeal to assist over 2,500 households with food and non-food items.
In Lebanon refugees from the conflict in Syria are still arriving and are in need. More than a million Syrian refugees are now living in the country and our partner Caritas Lebanon is continuing to provide humanitarian aid, as well improving access to healthcare, education and counselling.
Last year Caritas, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, helped fund Caritas Lebanon’s important work.
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand asks for support and prayers from all New Zealanders to help create positive change in Gaza and around the Middle East.