It was a privilege to spend last week with brave and dedicated colleagues and partners in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. I was both hugely inspired and deeply troubled by the visit.
I spent time in the Gaza Strip, a tiny piece of land home to over 2 million Gazans who have been under blockade for the last 15 years and whose lives are being made almost impossible by some of the most severe restrictions I’ve ever seen. In this extremely challenging environment – where surveillance is a constant and the risk of violence escalation is ever-present – Oxfam colleagues are providing basic humanitarian interventions, like cash for families in desperate need of basic necessities. We’re also supporting Palestinian NGOs to provide essential services and working with women’s rights organisations fighting for gender equality. Globally, of course we’re also advocating a just and peaceful solution to this complex and tragic situation.
In Kharas, in the Hebron region of the West Bank, in Occupied Palestinian Territory, I visited a new waste water treatment plant that Oxfam colleagues have helped to install. In an area where water is so essential to life, this project is truly life-changing, helping, in very practical ways to build community resilience where it’s much needed.