A Christmas message from MAP’s CEO, Melanie Ward

Dear friend,

It has become hard to find the right words to express the horrors of the last few months. Like you, I have watched the images coming out of Gaza each day with dread. More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s assault, most of them women and children. Families are being displaced, again and again, chased ever-southwards by the bombs. Everyone is hungry. Some are starving.

These are the darkest days for Palestinians since the Nakba. Yet even amid all this darkness, there is hope.

When the first bombs dropped, our remarkable Gaza team responded rapidly to release MAP’s prepositioned emergency medical stocks to hospitals, and source additional lifesaving supplies from the local market. MAP was the first aid agency to respond in Gaza on 7 October, and we were one of the first NGOs to get aid into Gaza via Egypt in November. Our second shipment entered just a few days ago. But so much more is needed.

Most of our colleagues in Gaza have themselves been displaced from their homes. Despite suffering immense personal loss, they have kept working to support those around them.

They are the embodiment of hope.

Inspired by their tireless dedication, the entire MAP staff is resolute in our solidarity with the Palestinian people at this time of crisis. In the West Bank and Lebanon, too, we are working to ensure vital health services continue to function while preparing for further escalation and emergency.

We are mobilising and delivering the biggest emergency response in MAP’s history, made possible only because of your generosity. Donations have come in from a staggering 160 countries, and people have organised fundraisers of every shape and size. You have also rallied together to raise your voices against the horror we are witnessing, signing petitions, emailing politicians and making sure world leaders hear our collective demand for an immediate, permanent ceasefire.

We are humbled by the compassion and empathy you have shown. It is a ray of hope in this terrible time.

Thank you so much for your support this year. Together, we will do everything we can to restore health and dignity to Gaza and the entire Palestinian people.

If you can, please consider giving a Christmas donation to help my team continue their vital work saving lives and, when a ceasefire comes, rebuilding healthcare in Gaza.

Wishing you and your family a peaceful Christmas,

Melanie Ward

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