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August 22, 2014

Relief Supplies Arrive in Gaza With Help of Palestinian Alumni of JICA Training
A cease-fire, now ended, provided the opportunity to make the deliveries

photoMembers of NGO Sharek Youth Forum from Ramallah packed the food for the refugees from Gaza.

JICA took advantage of a cease-fire in August between Palestinian factions and Israel to deliver relief supplies to refugees in Gaza, the Palestinian Territories, with the help of Palestinian alumni of JICA training.

Medical supplies and drinking water were also delivered to a hospital in Gaza.

On Aug. 5, a cease-fire was put in place between Palestinian factions and Israel in the Gaza-Israel conflict. The cease-fire ended Aug. 19.

Since July 7, the battle between Israel and Palestinian factions, which has de facto control of Gaza, has intensified, and many casualties have occurred. Also, many Gaza residents have taken refuge in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and the number of internally displaced persons has reached 485,000.

Because JICA's Palestine Office is currently located in Tel Aviv, for safety reasons, the packing and shipping of the supplies was done with the help of a JICA Alumni Association, which is made up of Palestinians who received training from JICA in Japan and elsewhere, as well as the Palestinian Authority, the UNRWA and an NGO made up of youth from Ramallah, West Bank.

For people taking refuge in elementary schools run by UNRWA, JICA supplied 870 boxes of food, each containing milk, canned beef, canned tuna, cheese and other items. The work of packing three days' worth of food for one family of six into each of the boxes was done by the Ramallah NGO Sharek Youth Forum. The cooperation of the UNRWA was needed to transport the food packages, so Osamu Tanaka, a JICA staff member seconded to UNRWA took charge of arranging transport of the packages. With the situation changing hour by hour, he quickly confirmed the needs of the Gaza refugees and made arrangements for shipping. As a result, the food was delivered to Gaza on Aug. 8.

JICA also delivered to Al-Shifa Hospital, one of the largest in Gaza, medicine and medical supplies such as bandages and gauze (worth some 10 million yen). On Aug. 7, 20 local staff members of the JICA Gaza Office and members of the JICA Alumni Association carried out the delivery. The JICA Alumni Association also donated one tank truck's worth of drinking water to the hospital.


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