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Quaker group launches humanitarian effort for elders in Gaza

Photo: Al-Wedad / AFSC

Aid continues legacy of work in Gaza dating back to 1948

GAZA (March 18 2019): The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization that has a long history of working with Palestinians in Gaza, has launched an effort to provide humanitarian aid to housebound and impoverished seniors in Gaza.

“After over a decade under an Israeli-imposed blockade, Palestinians in Gaza are in dire need of support,” said Dawood Hammoudeh, AFSC’s Palestine program manager. “Unemployment rates are over 40 percent, over 80 percent of the population depends on aid to survive, and many needs remain unmet. One of the most vulnerable groups in Gaza are the elderly. That’s why AFSC is fundraising to provide hygiene items and chronic illness medicines to elderly individuals most affected by a lack of electricity, water, and regular income.”

AFSC’s history in Gaza traces back to 1948, when the organization agreed to an urgent request from the United Nations to take a 15-month engagement supporting displaced Palestinians in Gaza. AFSC has remained continually engaged in Gaza ever since, helping to set up schools, provide legal aid, and advocating for a just and lasting peace.

“Most of the elderly in Gaza are the children of the first refugees that arrived in Gaza in 1948,” Hammoudeh continued. “AFSC first started operations in that year to support those families forcedibly displaced from their villages in historical Palestine. By focusing on the needs of the elderly in Gaza, AFSC is continuing its support of those who fled historical Palestine back in 1948.”

Donations can be made to the campaign at

To learn more about AFSC’s campaign to end the blockade of Gaza, visit


The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.