Palestinians inspect a mosque destroyed in strikes on one of Gaza City's refugee camps.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is still catastrophic.  

As winter sets in, people are struggling without proper shelters, food, water and warm clothes. 

Through months of intense bombing, an ongoing siege and a land offensive, at least 22,000 people have been killed - an estimated 70% of whom are women and children.  

Up to 1.9 million people, nearly 85% of the population, are estimated to be internally displaced from their homes. 

And at least 42% of Gaza’s homes have been destroyed or damaged since 7 October 2023.  

The health system has collapsed in Gaza and outbreak of disease such as diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections threatens more lives. 

Convoys carrying humanitarian supplies are still entering Gaza from Egypt, but it’s a trickle compared to the usual aid deliveries, and it is not enough to meet the humanitarian needs of over 2.2 million people. 

ActionAid is working with local partners to deliver food and cash assistance to families in Gaza. 

We are urgently seeking funds both to address immediate needs and to prepare for the extensive requirements that will emerge once the siege is lifted. 

When it is safe to do so, we must be prepared to respond promptly, ensuring the well-being of thousands who will be left without access to food, water, or shelter, while also prioritising the safety and protection of women and girls. Urgent financial support is crucial to prepare for this impending situation. 

Please, give what you can now. 

Gaza crisis appeal: how can I help?

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What is happening in Gaza right now?

Gaza is home to a population of two million people who have been living under constant bombardment, with little to no essential aid deliveries for months. They are in urgent need of food, water, medicine and fuel.   

Lack of shelter, food, water and the threat of waterborne diseases is causing a health catastrophe for hundreds of thousands of people and an alarming threat to the lives of pregnant and breastfeeding women and their newborn children.  

Riham Jafari, Communication and Advocacy Coordinator at ActionAid in Palestine:

There can be no delay. The level of humanitarian need is already overwhelming and growing by the day – only a permanent ceasefire will allow for the killing of civilians to stop and aid on anything like the scale required to enter Gaza and reach those who need it.”

What is ActionAid doing to help? 

ActionAid are working with our partners in Gaza who are doing their utmost to provide food, cash and relief items to families that we can reach, but access to supplies is limited and transportation to the shelters is challenging and dangerous for those who are working on the ground.   

So, we’re asking for your continued financial support, which is now needed more than ever, to help us deliver aid in the coming days and weeks. 

  • In the West Bank our partners are supporting people who have been internally displaced from Gaza. We've distributed over 1,000 dignity and winterisation kits across various districts. These include vital items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, shaving gel, razors, wet wipes, deodorant, and towels. 

  • In Gaza, Al-Awda Hospital, ActionAid’s partner in Gaza continues to provide maternity services for women in Gaza, including deliveries, caesareans and emergency maternity services, though it is operating under extremely challenging circumstances with a severe lack of medical supplies, including anaesthetics, and a shortage of staff. 

  • In Gaza, our partners WEFAQ reached over 1,000 families with fresh food and food parcels. And over 5,000 displaced people received hot meals at the Gaza-Rafah border.  

  • Our partners in Gaza also distributed emergency cash to 1050 families and 2,000 winter kits with blankets. 

  • 60 toilets and showers are currently being built and installed for displaced people living in overcrowded conditions in Rafah.  

  • WEFAQ social workers and gender-based violence experts in Rafah and Khan Younis are also providing a psychological support hotline for women and have reached over 400 women so far. 

Is humanitarian aid getting through to Gaza? 

Only very small amounts of aid are reaching Gaza through the Rafah crossing, far too little to meet people's needs. 

ActionAid staff have been procuring relief items including food, non-food essential items, hygiene and dignity kits for women and girls, and getting medical supplies ready to go.  

The quantity of relief supplies we are able to supply - once we can deliver aid safely - will largely depend on the amount of funds we’re able to raise. 

Why we are not responding in Israel

The attacks committed on Israeli civilians were appalling. They have led to a spiral of violence affecting thousands of civilians across the region. ActionAid has called for an end to the violence and for the respect of international law which applies to all parties involved.

Our decision to respond in any crisis is always driven by humanitarian need— prioritising those people, in particular women and girls, most in need of assistance, whilst considering our ability and capacity and those of others, including states, to meet that need.

Even before this latest escalation, which is worsening on a daily basis, 80% of people living in Gaza relied on international aid following 16 years of blockade. Their coping capacities were stretched to the limit and beyond. Whilst there are humanitarian needs in Israel, our monitoring shows that the government and national and local aid organisations there are able to respond to these needs.

As a result, at this time our immediate focus is on responding to urgent unmet needs in Gaza and other affected parts of the occupied Palestinian territory. We continue to review this as the situation evolves.


ActionAid UK's chief executive, Halima Begum said:  

Women and children are in critical need of safe shelter. While families want to return home, many have seen their houses completely destroyed and we have far too many vulnerable people still living in exposed spaces, without either security or protection.   

The trauma and fear associated with the earthquake is also a huge impediment to the safe return of families. People here have experienced unimaginable tragedy and loss. Any recovery plan must include emotional support to help those affected by this disaster retrieve some degree of normality in their lives.   

Of course, women and girls have very particular needs in emergencies that are far too often overlooked or forgotten, and we’re seeing this in Morocco now.  In particular, access to period products and underwear is essential.   

Much of the emergency response so far has focussed on food and temporary shelter, which are of course important. But the provision of period products would go a long way to help restore the dignity of women and girls still living in rudimentary and temporary shelters."

About ActionAid

ActionAid is an international charity that works with women and girls living in poverty.

Our dedicated local staff are changing the world with women and girls. We are ending violence and fighting poverty so that all women, everywhere, can create the future they want.

We operate in rural and urban communities across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

We're committed to ending the cycle of violence in communities around the world, enabling women's economic empowerment, and supporting women's and girls' rights during humanitarian crises.

Where your money goes

90% of your donation will go directly to ActionAid's Gaza Crisis Appeal.

10% of your donation will be retained for ActionAid’s Emergency Action Fund which will only be used for ensuring we are prepared and able to respond quickly and more effectively to future emergencies and crises.

If the total amount raised for this appeal exceeds the funds needed for the response, ActionAid will transfer the remaining balance to the Emergency Action Fund. All Gift Aid claimed on donations will fund ActionAid’s work across the world, wherever the need is greatest.

Image: Palestinians inspect a mosque destroyed in strikes on one of Gaza City's refugee camps. NurPhoto /Getty Images.

Page updated 4 January 2024