CAFOD warns that aid alone is not enough for people of Gaza

2014-08-09 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio)  In Gaza, up to half a million people have been displaced by the month-long conflict with Israel and are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.   The London-based Catholic development agency CAFOD has warned that aid alone is not enough for the people of the territory.  CAFOD is appealing for donations and also asking its supporters to lobby  the British government to push for a just and lasting peace.   The agency’s Middle East representative, Mary Lucas, spoke to Susy Hodges about the situation on the ground in Gaza. 

Listen to the full interview with Mary Lucas of CAFOD: 

Lucas said the people of Gaza face a “very serious humanitarian situation” with huge numbers of people displaced and with the local health services “overwhelmed by the demand.”  She explained  how they have already had a “tremendous response” to their appeal for supporters to email the British Foreign Secretary  (Philip Hammond) and urge him to push for a just and lasting peace (between Israel and the Palestinians).  

Lucas said  this move is in line with Pope Francis’s message that this is a situation that’s becoming “increasingly unacceptable” and it’s incumbent on all Christians to strive for peace.  “We have to intensify efforts to create a long-term stable peace…..   we have to show that a different way is possible and we have to live out the call to be peace-makers in this very difficult context.” 

She described how the residents of  Gaza are ”exhausted and traumatized” (by the latest conflict) and fearful that the same thing could happen again in around two years’ time.   At the same time, she said, despite the massive destruction caused by the war, the Gazan people and CAFOD’s local partners are preparing to roll up their sleeves and make a fresh beginning:  “They are full of determination to rebuild and start again.”  

(From archive of Vatican Radio)