PDA has long-standing partnerships in Palestine. Below is an excerpt from a note from our partner, IDCO. For several years, both PDA and the Presbyterian Hunger Program, another recipient of the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, has worked with IDCO to respond to critical needs, especially in Gaza. The video above demonstrates how your gifts to support PDA’s response to COVID-19 has made an impact in Palestine.
It is easy to see that throughout the five years of cooperation, Presbyterian Church acted as a saviour to many families of the Gaza Strip, rescuing them from the inevitable decline in livelihood quality and poverty. Not only did the support elevate their material status but also significantly improved their psychological health allowing long awaited happiness to enter many homes and hearts. Nevertheless, the daily battles of ordinary citizens of Gaza Strip continued and this time they became more intense due to COVID-19 outbreak. Farmers like Samaher and Jihad, who almost miraculously managed to survive the blockade, cultivate lands with four hours of electricity and not being able to export their goods now have to face yet another challenge in the face of the coronavirus. What makes the spread of COVID-19 even more dangerous in Gaza than in any other spot in the world is the density of population. With a population of almost 2 million people and an area of 365 square meters Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places in the world which makes it easier for large groups to become contagious from one person only. In addition, there is a lack of 50% of medications and equipment whereas there are only 40 beds linked with ventilators in all hospitals.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) came on time saving another group of Gaza citizens from the claws of death. With their project “Enhanced WASH preparedness and response capacity of vulnerable families to COVID-19 outbreak” ( $ USD 10,000.00) they helped save 200 of high risk families by providing them with COVID-19 related WASH prevention activities such as emergency personal hygiene kits. The handing of these kits was accompanied by awareness campaigns, promotion of adequate personal hygiene and cleaning practices at the household level.
Despite the immense contribution of PDA, the enemy in the face of coronavirus has not surrendered yet. Therefore, the question of continued collaboration between IDCO and Presbyterian Church remains of crucial importance. There are still many ways for cooperation through which numerous exhausted lives of Palestinians could be improved. Based in the heart of Gaza and thus being in the eye of the storm, IDCO observes the needs of people affected by the virus outbreak and believes that the future has many projects of raising awareness and help provision in store for its joint partnership with Presbyterian Church. When it seemed like the world turned deaf to the cries of the Palestinians only the Presbyterian Hunger Program and PDA came to aid and for that Gazans will remain forever grateful, hoping that coming interventions will continue saving lives from misery.
It is interesting how in both the Holy Quran and the Bible there are almost similar verses that say “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear” and “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength”. When it seems that there is no solution and the situation could never be repaired God sends someone to help you go through the storm, thus looking at the past 5 years it is fair to say that Presbyterian Church has been guided by God in its plausible endeavors and life changing support. While there are still many unsolved problems, it is easier to face them knowing that someone is there to protect your back and we at IDCO are ready to march into the future sure of the support of the Presbyterian Church.