In our earlier mailing, we asked you to SHARE this action alert on social media, but the links for that were not working.Spreading the word about this crisis is a vital way to help. If you have already read the alert below, please take this second opportunity to RAISE AWARENESS for UNRWA and the Palestinian refugees they serve: FACEBOOK POST YOU CAN SHARE TWEET YOU CAN SHARE
"Attention must be paid" to the sufferings of the Palestinian people That headline is borrowed from the Washington Watch blog of James Zogby, President of of the Arab American Institute (AAI).
Using a quote from an Arthur Miller play, Zogby was appealing for our attention to the devastating loss, in the last year, of humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable Palestinians, the refugees.
Lately the world’s attention has been focused on a second "Arab Spring" in Lebanon, Iraq and beyond. Not to mention the UK's never-ending Brexit ordeal and the drama of US presidential impeachment.
But a frightening humanitarian crisis in Palestine has been going largely unreported.
UNRWA's 2019 Appeal shows the magnitude of the crisis - here are a few of the alarming statistics:
• UNRWA's funding for their services in the West Bank has been cut by 67%.
• In the West Bank, food assistance is available for only 30% of those who qualify.
• The Work program has been cut for 90,000+ workers, struggling to provide for families in an economy strangled by decades of occupation.
• In Gaza, housing support is gone for those who are still homeless from the devastating 2014 war.
• There were even more severe cuts for Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon.
How this happened
In 2018, the United States terminated its humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, and that included a major portion of UNRWA's annual budget.
This cruel decision was part of the Trump Administration's ongoing efforts to coerce Palestinians into accepting the unacceptable: Trump's so-called 'deal of the century.'
Withholding vital humanitarian aid as a tool of foreign policy is unconscionable. These U.S. cuts have already caused deep harm to a vulnerable population, especially refugee children.
So our partners at Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace (PCAP) are sounding the alarm for the millions of refugees who need UNRWA's essential services.
PCAP has launched a campaign to raise awareness of UNRWA's funding shortfall and how it is hurting the refugees.
A different kind of action alert
If you've seen our past alerts, you know we usually call on you for political action, such as contacting the U.S. Congress or State Dept.
This month – when many around the world are celebrating an abundant harvest and giving thanks for blessings – we have in mind a different kind of action.
With our partners at PCAP, UMKR asks you to address this humanitarian crisis in TWO WAYS:
Use these buttons to give to UNRWA online. Whichever one you use, you will be giving to the refugees!
Or mail a check:
Raise Awareness!! Download and share these PCAP resources WIDELY, in congregations, organizations, and networks:
YOU CAN ALSO RAISE AWARENESS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA...
We thank you in advance for everything you will do this month to help the Palestinian refugees.
And everything you do throughout the year for a more just and loving world!
CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO WATCH A POWERFUL VIDEO FROM IMEU - ONLY 90 SECONDS LONG - ABOUT THE REALITY OF DAILY LIFE IN GAZA.
Who are the Palestinian refugees?
Millions of Palestinians, who constitute the largest and longest suffering refugee community in the world, depend on UNRWA for vital health and education services, food assistance, vocational training, and jobs.
Since 1948, over half the Palestinian population was driven out of their hometowns and villages, which fell under the control of the newly created State of Israel. Despite international consensus, enshrined in multiple United Nations resolutions, Palestinian refugees were not allowed to return to their homes.
To respond to their plight, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was created in 1949. When the Agency began operations in 1950, it served a population of 750,000 refugees – including Palestinian Muslims and Christians. Today, that number has increased to more than 5 million.
Did you know? Of the 2 million people living in Gaza, one of the most crowded places on earth, two thirds or more are refugees who have never been allowed to return home. And because of the 13-year-long blockade of Gaza, 80% or more of the population depend on humanitarian aid for survival.
UNRWA is on the front lines in providing essential humanitarian, medical, and educational services, for millions of refugees the governments of the world have turned their backs on.
Was this email forwarded to you?
UMKR is an international grassroots peace movement of laity and clergy in the United Methodist Church. We are responding to the Palestinian Christians' urgent call, in Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth, for effective action to end the Israeli occupation and achieve a just peace in the Holy Land. OUR GOAL: UMKR seeks – through nonviolent action and in partnership with our Palestinian sisters and brothers in Christ – freedom, equality, and justice for all Palestinians and Israelis. Learn more about UMKR
You have received this email because you have taken action with UMKR in the past or signed up for our news and action. If you would like to Unsubscribe or make any other changes in your subscription, just click "Manage Subscription" at the bottom of this email.
Our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Our website: www.kairosresponse.org Mailing address, general correspondence: Rev. John Wagner, 120 South Broad Street, Middletown, OH 45044 Mailing address, donations and financial: William P. Aldrich, 42 Gaspee Point Drive, Warwick, RI 02888 Please make checks payable to our fiscal agent: Open Table of Christ UMC. Write on the memo line: UMKR