Getting support from people of all faiths, a British Muslim charity is leading humanitarian efforts to help the Palestinian people following last month’s war.
The charity’s goal is to “break the cycle of poverty at every stage,” Adeem Younis, the founder of Penny Appeal, told Arab News.
At least 250 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children and 38 women, in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip from May 10 till May 21.
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The onslaught left 1,620 people injured with 8,000 people being displaced, according to Ahseea Ahmed, head of protection and neutrality for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.
Immediately after the attacks, Penny Appeal ramped up efforts to help Palestinian people, providing cash support, distributing food packs, provisions for babies and women’s hygiene products.
Penny Appeal has directly assisted over 77,000 people since last month’s war.
“Sadly, there has been an increase in the number of orphans we’re having to support,” Ahmed said, lamenting the cyclical nature of conflict in Gaza.
“We want to provide sustainable solutions that we can empower the community with, but our solutions are sometimes not effective because every year, every two years, it all gets destroyed again, or there’s an emergency situation that takes you back to square one,” he said.
In a statement issued to Arab News, the charity’s CEO Harris Iqbal said: “Sadly, once again we have had to pivot our efforts from long term sustainable projects to short term emergency response. We have been focusing in particular on medical treatment and supplies, working with a network of hospitals and medical organizations, as well as distributing food packs for families displaced by the bombing.”
Penny Appeal has been working in Gaza, West Bank, and Al-Quds for about 10 years. Yet, this time has seen greater support from people of all faiths across the UK.
“We’ve already raised over £500,000 ($705,850) for the most recent emergency. Donations have come from not just Muslims but from all faiths, from all backgrounds. Even today we still have people calling on a daily basis,” Ahmed said.
“What we’ve seen is that the compassion and support from the wider community, not just Muslims, has been very, very different.”
These donations help with the emergency response on the ground and make Palestinians realize the countless support they get from people worldwide.
“The recipients tell us all the time that they’re very grateful for the support they receive. They can’t believe the support they receive. They can’t believe that people are thinking about them as well. It means a lot for them to receive the aid, to have that help,” Younis added.
“That gives them a sense that the world is listening … When they receive outside aid, they don’t just feel the aid but they feel the support — it keeps their spirits high.”
Penny Appeal started in 2009 to provide poverty relief across Asia, the Middle East and Africa by offering water solutions, organizing mass feedings, supporting orphan care and providing emergency food and medical aid.
Since then, they have transformed lives and empowered communities around the world, helping to break the poverty cycle and build brighter futures.