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The Relief Services in the Gaza Strip, Problems and Solutions, 9 Oct.2002

09-10-2002 00:00

Number of participants 61 Percentage of women that attended 39 out of 61 (63.
9%) Percentage of women that spoke-up 5 out of 8 (62.
5%) Key Speakers Mr.
Aqeel Abu Shamaleh,, Director of Relief and Social Affairs Department in the UNRWA.
Mr.
Hani Saba,, General Director of Social Development Directorate, Ministry of Social Affairs.
Dr.
Zahir Khuhail, Head of Palestine Charity.
Summary of issues raised by the public Rates of poverty have reached unprecedented levels in the Gaza Strip and expected to worsen.
There should be more efforts to help people.
Palestinians who used to work inside Israel need urgent help.
The performance of relief institutions is not satisfactory.
They commit many mistakes that affect their ability to provide the service for the poor.
The government and relief NGOs should plan for solution in the long-term.
Projects that employ people are better than relief in this consideration.
Coordination and cooperation among relief institutions, both in the government and outside, is necessary.
Summary of answers given by the guest speakers The levels of poverty and unemployment grew too high for Palestinian institutions to cope with.
This situation has especially resulted from the intensive Israeli measures in the OPTs.
It is not helpful for NGOs to keep providing small rations for people.
More productive projects should be considered to employ people.
The coordination between relief institutions is necessary.
The Ministry and the UNRWA will keep helping the poor with food and relief services.
NGOs face a serious financial crisis now.
The September 11 attacks in the USA made the US government make mistakes and prevent relief funds.
The Palestinian people will need urgent assistance for a relatively long period of time as Israel continues its siege and collective punishment procedures.
Planned and undertaken follow-up of issues raised
Al Mezan has issued letters to a number of NGOs working in the field of relief informing them with the results of the meeting.
The meeting was covered in the local media.
Additionally, Al Mezan prepared a special booklet with the proceedings of the meeting, including key speakers statements, the public questions and comments and the answers to them.
One thousand copies of the booklet were distributed around the Gaza Strip.
Actual improvements achieved, if any
Foolowing up the meeting's results with the Ministry and the UNRWA reveled that small changes for mostly individuals resulted from this meeting.
People who presented special cases in the meeting found solutions.
However, key speakers said that the public comments and recommendations will be considered as they are considering the creation of a stronger body that coordinates their work in a mutual manner.
Summary of evaluation forms of participants and speakers
Evaluation forms show that the participants, and key speakers, considered the meeting's theme significant and that it came at the right time.
They also said that the guests represent the decision-making bodies that are relevant to the theme an they represent the government, UNRWA and local NGOs.
Comments on the management of the meeting and the time were also positive.
Many of the participants said that they will speak up freely with decision makers in the future.