A destroyed ambulance amid rubble in Gaza

Gaza Crisis

Gaza Crisis
Appeal 2014

A destroyed ambulance sits amid damaged buildings in Gaza in August 2014. Image: Boris Niehaus

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The DEC is monitoring a number of humanitarian crises including the escalation of conflict in Gaza and Israel.

Key achievements

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£19 million

raised, including £2 million matched by the UK Government

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people were reached with life saving support (one in five of Gaza’s population) 

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people received food assistance

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children and vulnerable people helped to cope with the psychological impact of the conflict

The hostilities in Gaza, which escalated over the summer of 2014, led to the deaths of 2,251 Palestinians and forced one in four Palestinians to flee their homes.

On 7 July 2014, the United Nations declared a humanitarian emergency in Gaza following a severe escalation in hostilities. During the 50 days that followed – from 8 July until 26 August – the UN says that 2,251 Palestinians were killed; 1,462 of them were believed to be civilians, including 551 children and 299 women. 

In total, 11,231 Palestinians were injured during the conflict and one in four Palestinians in Gaza fed their homes. 

Infrastructure and public services were severely damaged, including Gaza’s only power plant, its water facilities, as well as its sanitation, electricity, telecommunication and transportation networks.


  • Gaza’s population of between 1.8 and 2 million people is confined to a 360-square-kilometre strip of land. The high population density, the economic blockade (which restricts the movement of people and goods into and out of the territory), high levels of poverty and insufficient services make it exceptionally difficult for people to earn a living or access quality healthcare, water and education.
  • Before the crisis, 80% of people in Gaza were dependent on aid. Unemployment rose to 38% in early 2014.  
  • An energy crisis in Gaza led to power outages of up to 12 hours per day.
  • Government employees had not been paid since April 2014, and their salaries had not been paid regularly since August 2013. 
Martin Freeman on the DEC's Gaza Crisis Appeal video

The Gaza Crisis Appeal with Martin Freeman

Watch DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal on YouTube.


  • Seven weeks of heavy conflict in the summer of 2014 created a humanitarian crisis for the majority of Palestinians in Gaza. People were unable to meet their most basic needs and hundreds of thousands were psychologically impacted by the hostilities.
  • Damage to agricultural land and the fishing sector shattered the local economy – the Ministry of Agriculture estimated a loss of US$550 million. The hostilities damaged 42,000 acres of farmland, as well as greenhouses, irrigation systems, livestock, fodder stocks and fishing boats, affecting the livelihoods of some 40,000 people.
  • The unemployment level in Gaza was 43.9%, the highest in the world, and 39% of the population was living on less than US$1.90 per day.
  • 1.5 million people had no or very limited access to water or sanitation.
  • One in four Palestinians in Gaza fled their homes.
  • More than 60,000 homes were severely damaged or completely destroyed.
  • The UN said the health system was on the verge of collapse, with 24 health facilities damaged and acute shortages of medicines and medical supplies.
  • The cost of food doubled, pushing the price of essential foodstuffs beyond the reach of many.
  • According to the UN, 2,251 Palestinians were killed, of whom 1,462 were civilians, including 551 children. Sixty-six Israeli soldiers and five Israeli civilians, including one child, were also killed.

Local partners of CAFOD deliver aid in Gaza.

The DEC launched its appeal on 7 August 2014, raising nearly £19 million, including £2 million in Aid Match from the UK government. More than 360,000 people were reached with life saving support including food assistance, training and support to help restore people’s livelihoods and psychosocial support to help people cope with the trauma of the conflict.


Women’s role in the workforce is Gaza is one of the lowest in the world. A portion of the funds raised in this appeal went towards providing training and cash grants to help women start and run their own businesses. 

One 33-year-old woman said: “I got married when I was 14 – I know nothing about the outside world. When I was called to the training I felt I need to talk and I need to be outside. I was motivated that I am not doing anything wrong. Even at home I felt more confident. I have changed. I feel I am born again and my life has just started.”

A child-friendly space run by World Vision.


Child friendly spaces were set up to help children with the psychological impacts of the conflict. A 12-year old girl who attended one of the spaces said: “the sessions helped me overcome my fears”. A mother commented on how the child friendly spaces were a huge help to parents as well as the children, saying: “Children were able to spend their time learning and doing useful things instead of playing in the street. The activities at the CFS were sensitive to our culture and values… strengthen the character of the children and supported self-confidence and make it easier for parents to deal with their children.” 

Close to 1,700 children attended group psychosocial courses or received specialist therapy. 


  • Ten of the DEC’s members – some of the UK’s leading aid charities – began to deliver vital aid, despite a month of intense fighting at the beginning of the response.
  • In the initial six-month emergency phase (August 2014 to January 2015), DEC member charities and their local partners reached more than 194,000 people with lifesaving support. They supplied clean water, food parcels or vouchers to more than 97,000 people, household items for 36,000 people, as well as emergency shelter and medical supplies.
  • During the second phase of the response (February 2015 to August 2016), DEC member charities reached more than 360,000 people – one in five of Gaza’s population.
  • Much more was invested in boosting businesses, improving pre-school learning and helping people to cope with the trauma of conflict. This shift in emphasis towards skills and emotional wellbeing was designed to build people’s resilience to the ongoing conflict.
  • More than 6,000 people benefitted from cash for work or other short-term employment; and more than 600 men and women learned new IT skills, enabling older men and women to access information and opening up new areas for learning.
  • More than 300,000 people were able to access clean water in the second phase of the response, as DEC member charities rehabilitated water networks, tanks, filters and desalination units.


Read more about how funds were spent and how the response to this crisis was evaluated 


for this appeal, including £2 million matched by the UK Government. Thank you!