Scots donate £556,000 to Gaza

Scots have donated £556,000 to an emergency appeal to help the people of Gaza.

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The Disasters Emergency Committee's (DEC) Gaza Crisis Appeal has raised £8 million in the five days since it was launched.

The DEC's 13 member agencies will use the funds to scale up their humanitarian response for hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza, while a renewed ceasefire holds.

This will involve replenishing urgently needed medical supplies, providing clean water and emergency shelter materials.

Agencies will also begin supporting the reconstruction of essential infrastructure destroyed in the fighting, such as power supplies, water and sewage systems.

More than 1,900 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed during the conflict.

DEC chair for Scotland Neil Mathers said: "The continuing support from people here in Scotland and the donations coming in have enabled our member agencies to substantially step up their response, particularly during this moment of relative peace.

"Aid is getting through, with our staff and partners on the ground working tirelessly to provide urgent assistance to the hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza in desperate need.

"The situation for many people remains horrendous. More than 100,000 have had their homes severely damaged or even completely destroyed. Hospitals and medical teams are operating under immense strain as they try to respond to the vast number of people in need of medical care. More than 10,000 people have been injured, nearly a third of them children.

"Inevitably, as other high profile events in the world draw the cameras elsewhere, media interest has decreased in the Gaza crisis, but the need is still very much there and we urge the Scottish public not to forget about people suffering in Gaza and to give as much as they can."

The 13 agences in the DEC are ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.

The Department for International Development helped boost the appeal by matching the first £2 million donated by the public.

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