World Vision Australia welcomes the indefinite ceasefire between both parties in the Israel and Gaza conflict especially the opening of crossings to allow desperately needed humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.
World Vision Australia’s chief executive, Tim Costello, said that the ceasefire, brokered by the Egyptian Government overnight, is a relief for the hundreds of thousands that have been threatened daily by a bombardment of violence for the past seven weeks.
“We welcome the ceasefire as a critical step in working towards a durable and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Our hearts go out to the thousands of people who have lost family members, had their homes destroyed and are now in need of humanitarian assistance,” Mr Costello said.
Almost 2,200 people have been killed and more than 10,000 injured in 50 days of conflict. Key infrastructure such as Gaza’s only power plant has been destroyed and water supply has been compromised making living conditions almost unbearable.
“We call on all parties to continue negotiations to bring about a lasting and just peace so that both Palestinian and Israeli children can live without constant fear of death and destruction.”
The ceasefire will allow World Vision staff to increase emergency response operations across some of the worst affected areas of Gaza. Already World Vision has been able to reach thousands of displaced people with food, hygiene items and safe spaces for children to play, be looked after and supported.
World Vision Australia’s Mental Health and Psycho-social Support expert Alison Schafer said that children in Gaza face unique challenges after experiencing chronic insecurity, with violence breaking out every couple of years.
“Prolonged periods of stress for children cause a significant increase in cortisol levels in the brain which can adversely affects mental development,” Ms Schafer said.
“The protracted nature of insecurity in Gaza has denied any ongoing sense of safety. Their parents have no control over the security situation and nowhere else to go.”
“Research suggests that this could be making children more at risk of challenging behaviours and psychological problems in later life.”
World Vision has been incorporating mental health and psycho-social interventions and programing in Gaza for the past 5 years. More than 8,000 mothers and community members have been trained in psychological first aid to provide support to their families in distress.
To assist World Vision Australia’s emergency response in Gaza, donate to ‘Disaster Ready’ before 5 October 2014, call 13 32 40 or visit www.worldvision.com.au/emergency
Source: World Vision Australia
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.