WASHINGTON, Wednesday, May 19, 2021 (WAFA) - Anera, the American Near East Refugee Aid agency, and World Central Kitchen (WCK), a nonprofit organization that uses the power of food to nourish communities and strengthen economies in times of crisis and beyond, are partnering to deliver emergency meals to the rising numbers of injured and displaced families in Gaza.
The UN now considers 58,000 Palestinian families in Gaza to be internally displaced persons, seeking shelter as a result of damage and destruction from escalating attacks in the past week. Thousands of those are displaced from over 1,100 homes that have been destroyed or suffered severe or major damage. In addition to displacement, power and water outages also make it difficult for non-displaced households to provide meals for their displaced relatives and neighbors.
"With this grave emergency, coming on top of still-worrying COVID rates and a stifled economy, Anera will provide meals to as many of the displaced as we can," said Sean Carroll, Anera president and CEO. "We are fortunate to be partnering with José Andrés and World Central Kitchen to do this. Chef Andrés is a great humanitarian and in emergencies around the globe he and World Central Kitchen are there, consistently responding quickly and at large scale."
During the coronavirus pandemic, Anera has been providing meals to vulnerable families in Gaza, particularly those quarantined due to COVID-19. Now, with support from donors and partners, Anera and WCK will begin work immediately to provide meals to as many of the thousands of newly-displaced as possible. Anera's Gaza staff is working with the Cooperative Society for Savings and Lending (CSSL), a women's cooperative and vocational training center and long-time Anera partner, to deliver meals. Anera and CSSL recently, over just a two-month period, worked together to deliver 40,225 meals to families quarantined with COVID-19 and to school children in need. Depending on the scale of the need of the newly-displaced, Anera and WCK may work with local restaurants and hotels as well to provide meals.
Anera and WCK will support the work of some 50 women making meals at five CSSL vocational training centers across Gaza's five governorates, all of which have suffered bombings and displacement. CSSL procures produce from 25 farmers who are also beneficiaries of, and now partners in, Anera's humanitarian aid work. The Anera/WCK initiative will support and sustain up to 100 workers at the women's cooperatives, farms and restaurants to deliver tens of thousands of meals over the next days and weeks, as needed. Much of the initial meal-making and delivery will take place in North Gaza, an area hit particularly hard by missiles and where thousands of families have lost their homes or been temporarily displaced.
If you would like to support this vital initiative, please do so at anera.org/gaza-meals, noted the statement.