BY Ian Dunn | August 8 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


SCIAF sends emergency aid to Gaza

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) is sending £30,000 to provide emergency aid to thousands of people caught in the conflict in Gaza as the international community waits to see if a new ceasefire will hold.

Israel withdrew its troops from the Gaza Strip to positions outside the Palestinian territory on Monday night. It says the main aim of its offensive—to destroy militants’ tunnels—has been achieved.

A 72-hour truce—brokered by Egyptian mediators late on Monday—came into force at 5am GMT and appears to be holding.

SCIAF is working with sister charity Caritas Jerusalem and others to provide medical supplies to four hospitals, food, blankets, fuel, soap, buckets and trauma counselling to the most vulnerable.

Since early July, over 1700 people have been killed including 393 children and 208 women. More than 7500 houses have been destroyed by bombs, shells and rocket fire. More than 250,000 people have fled their homes. Schools, hospitals, refugee camps and places of worship have been hit. Many people are going without electricity or running water.

This is the third war in five years between the Israeli army and Palestinian militants—and innocent civilians are paying the price.

Alistair Dutton, SCIAF’s new director and former Caritas Internationalis humanitarian director, said ‘the humanitarian situation in Gaza is horrific. And added that he believed SCIAF’s assistance would help those who needed it most.

“SCIAF’s partners on the ground are providing urgently needed food, clean water, medical supplies, counselling, hygiene kits including soap, toothbrushes and nappies, and other basic essentials such as blankets, cooking utensils and buckets,” he said. “We are sending an initial £30,000 in emergency aid and will continue to work with our sister agencies in Caritas to get aid to those who need it most.”

A top Catholic charity official said on Monday that Gaza was a ‘complete catastrophe’ after nearly four weeks of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian militants Hamas.

“Gaza is on the brink of collapse at this point,” Matthew McGarry, who directs the Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) operations in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, said.

CRS, the US bishops’ international relief and development agency, also helped facilitate the delivery of three truckloads of medical supplies, equipment and some medicines to the Anglican Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.

Gaza has been subject to a seven-year economic blockade, which Israel imposed after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Fatah party.


— SCIAF is appealing to Scottish Catholics to provide emergency aid to the people of Gaza and others affected by war and violence. Members of the public can make donations on the SCIAF website at or by calling 0141 354 5555


– Read the full version of this story in August 8 edition of the SCO in parishes from Friday.


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