Thank you for your outpouring of prayers and generosity for our siblings impacted by the conflict in the Holy Land. The humanitarian crisis continues to worsen —– almost 70% of Gazan residents are displaced, and resources such as food, water and medical supplies are in short supply. The death toll has far surpassed those of previous conflicts in the region in recent decades.
Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response have equipped us to respond to this and other disasters whenever and wherever they strike. Gifts designated for “Middle East Crisis" will be restricted to and used in full (100%) for those affected by this crisis and others in the region.
I’d like to tell you some of the ways Lutheran Disaster Response already accompanies our partners in the Holy Land. Lutheran Disaster Response supports:
• Augusta Victoria Hospital. The hospital procures medical supplies and provides accommodations for patients and staff unable to return to their homes in Gaza.
• The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. The church provides emergency education support for families who have lost income due to the war and are unable to pay school fees.
• ACT Alliance. Through implementing partners Lutheran World Federation and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, ACT Alliance responds to immediate needs for psychosocial support, shelter, household items, public health centers and direct cash assistance, focusing on the Palestinian communities in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
These are just the first steps of what will be a long-term response. Our accompaniment of and solidarity with our partners endures, and we will work together to address other emerging needs. We continue to pray for peace with justice in the region.
I encourage you to visit the ELCA’s “Conflict in the Holy Land” resource page, where you’ll find worship resources, advocacy opportunities, statements from the ELCA and our partners, and more.
The Rev. Daniel Rift
Director, ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response Fund
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America