Thursday, January 22

MCC Signs on to Advocacy Statement for Gaza

MCC is part of the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA) and has signed on to the following advocacy statement.


JERUSALEM, 20 January 2009 –The following is a statement by the Association of
International Development Agencies regarding the crisis in Gaza. Quotes are attributable to
Charles Clayton, chairman of AIDA and national director of World Vision Jerusalem, on behalf
of the non-governmental and non-profit humanitarian organizations named below:

"We continue to press for a permanent ceasefire, in the wake of the January 18th unilateral
ceasefire declarations by Israel and Hamas.

"After 22 days of bombardment of Gaza, a ceasefire is clearly long overdue. However, a
unilateral cease-fire does not guarantee the safety and protection of civilians in the Gaza Strip
and southern Israel. What is needed is full compliance with UNSCR 1860 including a
complete cessation to violence on both sides.

“This ceasefire should allow unhindered humanitarian assistance to the desperate civilian
families of Gaza who have lost their homes and businesses and are struggling amid
shortages of food, supplies, cash, healthcare and fuel.

“We call on world leaders to take seriously their responsibility to protect children and non-
combatants before more lives are put at risk by the collapse of basic services and destruction
of infrastructure, which severely constrain meeting the population’s immediate humanitarian

“All parties must refrain from further violence and actively protect civilians from additional
harm, especially children, who make up half of Gaza’s population. Resolving outstanding
differences through diplomatic means is the only way to ease humanitarian distress and
assure durable peace and security for Palestinians and Israelis.

“The 18-month blockade of the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza must end. It has devastated
the economy, halted services and rendered the people of Gaza entirely dependent on
humanitarian aid.

“Urgent efforts need to be made to ensure that cash flows into Gaza to purchase basic
necessities. According to UNRWA, at least 95,000 people have not been paid over the last
few weeks, including aid workers and those who have are not able to access funds because
of bank closures.”

This statement is made on behalf of the following AIDA members:
ANERA Merlin
Austcare Norwegian Church Aid
Campaign for the Children of Palestine Oxfam International
CARE International Save the Children Alliance
Center for Environmental Diplomacy The Swedish Organization for
Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Individual Relief (SOIR)
Popoli- C.I.S.P. Terre des Hommes – Lausanne
EAPPI War Child Holland
Japan International Volunteer Center Welfare Association
Medical Aid for Palestinians World Vision International
Mennonite Central Committee

# # # END # # #

For interviews or more information please contact:
Allyn Dhynes, World Vision, +972 (0) 547 749 509
Michael Robin Bailey, Oxfam, +972 (0) 57 223 30 14

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