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Gaza crisis: a call to help, a call to peace

Gaza: Destroyed hall of St. Porphyrios Greek Orthodox Church
Gaza: Salle détruite de l’église orthodoxe grecque St. Porphyrios
On Thursday, October 19, a missile struck this hall of the St. Porphyrios Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza, killing at least 18 of the over 400 civilians sheltering there, including a 26-year-old Caritas Jerusalem employee and several members of her family. (Caritas Jerusalem)

MONTREAL, October 25, 2023Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada is making an immediate allocation of $150,000 to Caritas Jerusalem to help it meet the needs of families besieged and displaced by the ongoing crisis in Gaza in the Holy Land.

As a member of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada is also participating in the Humanitarian Coalition’s Gaza Humanitarian Emergency appeal. This means that donations for this cause will be matched dollar for dollar by the Government of Canada up to a maximum of $10 million until November 12. We therefore invite Canadians to donate generously.

Heeding Pope Francis, who has urged “believers to take just one side in this conflict: that of peace,” we also join the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, the Archbishop of Canterbury, several UN agencies and the Humanitarian Coalition in calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. This is imperative for realizing “God’s desire for peace in the land that Jesus Christ called home,” that the bishops of Canada have asked us to recall.

A ceasefire is urgently needed to step up the delivery of aid to the 1.4 million people displaced by the conflict in Gaza that has already claimed over 5,700 lives, injured more than 16,200 people and left over 1,500 missing and presumed dead, per UN reports. The victims include 26-year-old Caritas Jerusalem employee Viola Al ’Amash and several members of her family, who were killed last week by a missile strike on a church hall.

“How many dead, injured and traumatized people will it take to see that violence only begets violence and destruction?” Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada’s executive director, Carl Hétu, asked. He added, “A ceasefire, the release of hostages and a safe humanitarian corridor are needed to prevent more deaths and the regional spread of the conflict.”

Hétu said, “Eventually, the international community must work for a permanent, peaceful negotiated settlement that respects the human rights, dignity and just aspirations of all peoples. But right now, families in Gaza need our generosity and prayers more than anything else.”

Thanks to the fund matching offer, Canadians wishing to help provide food, water, shelter, hygiene kits, essential goods, healthcare and psychosocial support to families affected by the conflict in Gaza can do so twice as effectively by donating:

  • Online at devp.org/give
  • By calling 1-888-234-8533 toll-free
  • By mailing a cheque payable to Development and Peace (marked Gaza Humanitarian Emergency) to:
    555 René-Lévesque Blvd. West, 8th Floor
    Montreal, Quebec H2Z 1B1

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About Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada

Development and Peace — Caritas Canada is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada. It works in partnership with local organizations in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Middle East to create greater justice in the world and to act in solidarity with the most vulnerable people.

For more information, contact:

Minaz Kerawala
Communications and Public Relations Advisor
Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada
514 257-8710 ext. 328 | mkerawala@devp.org

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