This
week, a new flag flew in New York. This was noteworthy because it represented
Palestine and flew outside the United Nations headquarters for the first time,
as heads of states met for the 70th General Assembly. Although
flying the flag symbolised the acceptance of a Palestinian state by the UN,
many promises have gone unmet. The international community last year pledged
$5.4 billion at the Cairo summit to help reconstruct Palestine, particularly
the Gaza Strip. But Palestine is in a worse situation than a year ago, and,
shamefully, is even predicted by UNRWA to be unliveable by 2020. The
international community and heads of states need to recognise that there more
aid is needed and the Israeli blockade on Palestine has to be lifted in order
for the people of Palestine to start rebuilding their homes, hospitals and
schools that were destroyed during Israel’s summer 2014 offensive.
 
More than a billion Muslims around the world celebrated Eid Al-Adha at the end of last
month, the festival of sacrifice. Many Muslims will have sacrificed a sheep or
goat to recreate the symbolism of Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice
his only son at the time, Ismail. Although this is a Muslim celebration, the tale
of Abraham’s sacrifice is shared between the three monotheistic religions. This
celebration reminds many of the importance of sharing sustenance. Many donated
their “Qurbani” meat to the poor and needy at home and abroad. This was a
time of the year to be grateful for the food we eat daily and to donate to help
those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
 
Food insecurity in Palestine remains very high, with more than a third of the
population living without regular sustenance. Each household spends more than a
half of their income on food and the prices have soared in the past few years.
The high prices have caused those who live outside refugee camps to have worse
food security than those who live inside the camps, where they can be partially
protected from the price rises. With high food prices and the Israeli blockade
of Gaza, it remains close to impossible for many to feed their families and
children.
 
Poverty and food insecurity in the region is heartbreaking which is why
Interpal fundraises throughout the year to provide as many families as possible
with food and shelter. Each year the Eid Al-Adha campaign provides families in
Palestine with meat, food vouchers and direct financial aid. The funds raised
in the campaign also helped families in the region to celebrate Eid; we
distributed gifts and sweets, and organised fun activities for the children.
This year we have been able to help eight thousand families, which means that
around 60,000 people have been direct beneficiaries. For this we thank you all
for your ongoing support for Interpal’s work
 

Ibrahim Hewitt

Chairman of Interpal