Latest News: Integral Launches New Disaster Response Alert for the Israel and Palestine Crisis

Integral has launched a Disaster Response for humanitarian needs caused by the current conflict in Israel and Palestine. Currently eleven Integral Members have opted in. [1]  

Photo: © Ibrahim Zaanoun

Casualties of this war are increasing daily. As of 24th October 2023, OCHA are reporting 5791 Palestinian and 1400 Israeli fatalities. [Source here]. The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains desperate. “All humanitarian agencies and personnel have faced significant constraints in providing humanitarian assistance, due to ongoing hostilities, movement restrictions and shortages of electricity, fuel, water, medicines, and other essential items. … Despite these challenges, humanitarian actors are working around the clock to support the most vulnerable.” [Source here].

A small number of aid trucks carrying food, water and medical supplies have been able to enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing from Egypt, a tiny fraction of what is needed and far short of the estimated 500 trucks a day that brought in supplies prior to the current conflict. The shipments have not included desperately needed fuel to power hospitals and water facilities.
On their first coordination call Integral Members shared response plans, collective reach and capacity, as well as communication assets available for collaboration across the Alliance.  It was acknowledged that although there are significant and growing humanitarian needs in Gaza, there is also the potential for this crisis to have a regional impact. Many Integral Members have existing work in the Middle East, including Gaza itself, as well as Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, together with a network of established local Partners. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is what Integral terms a neglected crisis: it has been relatively low profile, protracted and complex for many years.

Integral Member International Health Partners (IHP) is supporting a local Partner in Gaza and is compiling medical shipments to distribute supplies of medicines to health facilities when access allows. They are expecting to reach 200,000 people through their response. Other Integral Members will support this large scale and long-term response with funding. The initial focus will be on Gaza with a view to the wider region later depending on developments. Other Members are exploring how to respond to WASH needs, with 2.3 million people in urgent need of access to water, and at least 55% of the water infrastructure in need of repair (source here).

Louise Hart, IHP’s Director of Programmes, says “The scale of the humanitarian situation in the Middle East is unprecedented, and is evolving rapidly. We are keeping a close eye on the developing needs, and as soon as access allows, will support our Partners with urgent medical supplies. Working with the Integral Alliance is invaluable for a small organisation like IHP, and allows us to pool resources, share learnings and support one another to deliver vital aid in the midst of crisis.”

In the initial stages of an Integral response, calls are held as frequently as necessary, so that Members can share information in the critical phase when needs are acute. The Integral online platform enables Members to share photos and stories, response plans and funding needs.

[1] Integra (Slovakia), Food for the Hungry (USA & Canada), International Health Partners (UK), Medair (Switzerland), Medical Teams Int (USA), Transform Aid (Australia), Tearfund (New Zealand), Tearfund (UK), World Renew (USA & Canada), World Relief (USA), ZOA (The Netherlands)