Please note that this appeal for the 2009 Gaza Crisis is now closed.
Three weeks of heavy shelling and an 18-month blockade of Gaza created an overwhelming humanitarian need.
More than half the population of Gaza, part of the Palestinian Occupied Territories lying between Israel and Egypt, had insufficient food throughout the year and 50,000 children were malnourished, even before the escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in late December 2008.
The conflict led to a significant number of deaths and injuries and the destruction of key civilian infrastructure in Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
Health services were significantly reduced with damage to more than 21 clinics, leaving only 10 primary health care centres functioning as emergency clinics.
Following a ceasefire, the Gaza Appeal was launched on 22 January 2009 and raised £8.3m of which £5.7m was given to the DEC itself and £2.6m was donated via member agencies.
Member agency assessments showed that, although there were some deaths, injuries and rocket damage in Israel, by far the greatest unmet humanitarian need was in the Gaza Strip, and DEC agencies focused their efforts on helping people there.
Some member agencies or their partners used other funds to help meet the needs of Israeli citizens affected by rocket attacks.
Reviving livelihoods was essential for recovery and some of the poorest farmers were supported to become productive again and supply fresh food, while fishermen were helped to repair their boats and nets.
Many of the unemployed were given work clearing debris and reconstructing roads.
Member agencies delivered emergency aid to the most vulnerable and needy in Gaza despite facing major difficulties, such as delays with visas, restrictions on the importation of goods into Gaza, unexploded ordinance and continued insecurity.
The major task of rebuilding homes was outside the remit of the DEC, but the foundations were laid for the regeneration of livelihoods and other longer-term programmes.