Presbyterian Mission Agency ministries authorize funds to support relief efforts in Israel-Palestine

With the humanitarian aid, the mission agency affirms its commitment to a long-term response

by Scott O’Neal | Presbyterian News Service

Photo by Baraa via Unsplash

LOUISVILLE — Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, in collaboration with World Mission and the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, has awarded nearly $100,000 in grant funding to support relief efforts in Israel-Palestine. The now month-long conflict continues to escalate and exact a heavy toll on civilian casualties along with crippling home and property loss in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem.

“From day one, PC(USA) partners have reached out in a cry for help for their communities, sharing the urgency to provide immediate care to those trapped in the middle of this conflict. As we continue to see the immense urgency shared by our partners in the affected areas, it is imperative to provide a rapid and steered response to the multiple needs arising from this disaster,” said the Rev. Edwin González-Castillo, director of PDA.

The Rev. Edwin González-Castillo, director of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, preaches during closing worship at the Young Adult Advocacy Conference. (Photo by Nell Herring)

“In the face of a constant and changing development of the crisis, through the partners of the different programs of the Presbyterian Mission Agency we have been able to provide funds that assist the most vulnerable people,” González-Castillo said. “The longer this crisis persists, the more urgent becomes the need for adequate and timely assistance.”

The funds have been distributed across several key areas:

  • Shelter and household items
  • Public health (water, sanitation, and hygiene)
  • Livelihood (income and opportunity) restoration
  • Mental health and psychosocial support
  • Cash assistance to partners in the region

ACT Alliance, of which PDA is a member organization, is budgeting $5 million for assistance over the next 12 months with the expectation to provide aid to nearly 50,000 individuals.

The Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, director for Humanitarian and Global Ecumenical Engagement in the PMA, serves on the governing board and executive committee of ACT Alliance. She said, “In this holy and heartbreaking part of the world, both in Palestine and in Israel, the PC(USA) and its partners have long held and cherished relationships. Our commitment to the region began long before this present conflict, and we will continue to accompany our partners throughout this season, and when peace is restored.”

The Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus

“In addition to bilateral partnerships with both faith-informed and civil society organizations, we are also working in collaboration with ACT Alliance, whose members in the region, including the Middle East Council of Churches, know the needs, issues, and peoples of the area intimately,” Kraus said. “Working together, informed and led by those closest to the conflict and its painful impacts, our resources will be in the hands of those who can do the most good supporting the most vulnerable.”

The ACT Alliance appeal’s response includes cash and non-cash assistance that support the most vulnerable individuals and families to meet their immediate needs, such as food and hygiene kits. It also includes rehabilitating moderately damaged homes and ensuring safe and habitable living conditions for affected families. Income restoration for people who have lost their main source of income also falls under the appeal guidelines.

Additional partner grants include funds for distributing ready-to-eat food parcels, material support to churches and community centers hosting displaced families, the purchase of medicines and hospital supplies, confidential psychosocial support services for women and child victims of gender-based violence, and financial relief for displaced families along Lebanon’s southern border who have inadequate financial resources to sustain themselves.

To support and contribute to PDA’s assistance efforts in Israel-Palestine, click here.

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