Generous Scots close to landmark figure raised for embattled Palestinians

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​Gaza fundraising continues as Scots' efforts heads towards the £1m mark 

8th September 2014 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Nearly £1m has been raised in just one month by Scots eager to help people in Gaza.

A total of £14m has been raised in the UK with £930,000 coming from Scottish donations, the Disasters Emergency Committee said.

Tens of thousands of donations in Scotland have been made – as well as larger single donations including £10,000 from Renfrewshire Council.

Support for the appeal has come from all quarters with the City of Edinburgh Council flying a DEC flag with the donation telephone number on the City Chambers.

The cash has contributed to help the charity reach 1.1 million people with aid, including food, water and medicine, since it launched the fundraising drive in the UK on 8 August.

Raising money to help those affected by conflict is always challenging but the public have responded and supported us - Neil Mathers

Neil Mathers, DEC Scotland chair, said: "We are very grateful to the Scottish public for their generosity in supporting people affected by the crisis in Gaza, and to the councils and politicians who have backed the appeal.

"Raising money to help those affected by conflict is always challenging but the public have responded and supported us, enabling us to help those in Gaza who are suffering.

"For a family which has lost its home, their need is as great whether the cause is an earthquake or a war.

"Despite significant risks and obstacles, our member agencies and their partners have done an amazing job delivering aid to hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been torn apart.”

There is currently an uneasy ceasefire in the region enabling NGOs to get much needed supplies into people and areas most affected by the conflict.

Since fighting broke out, more than 2,100 Palestinians have died along with 66 Israeli soldiers and seven civilians in Israel.

Doctors say they are already seeing diseases spreading.

Life-support machines in the region’s main hospital now rely full-time on generators that are meant to be used for back-up purposes.

And many schools have been targeted by Israeli shells meaning children won’t be able to go to school until they are rebuilt, adding to the hopelessness of the population.

Brian Francis, a Scots aid worker with French aid agency Medecins Sans Frontier, said people in Gaza were completely reliant on outside help.

“The scale of the devastation and killing means much of the infrastructure – hospitals, equipment etc – have been destroyed.

“It is as much a rebuilding job as it is a resupply.

“The area is devastated but it’s the human suffering that can’t be fixed.

“Much of the immediate support is about getting essential supplies through. But devastation on this level means there will be repercussions emotionally and mentally for the families who have lost loved ones for years to come.”

The DEC said it will continue funding its members for the next two years to enable them to support the people most affected.