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 | Staff Report

Catholic Relief Services Is Responding to Needs of Those Affected by Holy Land Crisis

October 24, 2023 | The devastation in the Holy Land has only progressed after Israel was attacked on October 7, 2023, which resulted in retaliatory attacks on Gaza.

Throughout the region, there have been more than 4,300 deaths– a total that is undoubtedly higher after the recent bombing of a Gaza hospital. Roughly 1,300 of those deaths are Israelis and another 3,000 of those are Palestinians. In Gaza City alone, approximately 1 million people - nearly half the city’s population - are displaced after an order to evacuate.

This violence is affecting lives across the Holy Land in numerous ways. Food, fuel, and water access are limited and, in some areas, completely gone. The Gaza region has been without electricity for multiple days, hospitals are running out of fuel for their backup generators, and wastewater and sanitation services are overwhelmed with need. This becomes a further dangerous situation as hospitals are on the brink of collapsing– endangering the lives of thousands of patients.

Many families have uncertain or limited options for safety. Those who are elderly, disabled, or ill cannot escape the war zone, and pregnant women are at increased risk due to the dangers.

“An estimated 50,000 pregnant women face extreme challenges accessing prenatal and maternity care due to risks related to movement, compromised functionality of health facilities, and a shortage of lifesaving supplies.”

Catholic Relief Services is coordinating with partners across the region to meet the urgent needs of the people. They are working to keep people’s physical and emotional needs at the forefront in the midst of uncertainty, fear, and difficulty. While all CRS staff in Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza are physically unharmed, more than half of staff members in Gaza have been forced to relocate and seek shelter. CRS has provided cash assistance to 3,923 households and is currently supporting four church premises in Gaza that are serving as temporary shelters.

“CRS has evolved into one of the world’s leading humanitarian relief and development agencies. [They] provide lifesaving relief in the wake of natural and human-made emergencies, and address issues of chronic poverty and injustice through innovative and sustainable development programs.”

CRS has been serving families in the Holy Land since 1961. Together with their partners, they are tailoring support to the needs and context of the area, including emergency food and living supplies, shelter support, psychological support, water, sanitation and hygiene, and the recovery of homes.

You can help support CRS as they assist the local communities during this conflict:

Donate online:

Donate by phone:


Donate by check:

Catholic Relief Services

Holy Land Response

P.O. Box 5200

Harlan, IA 51593

Information and quotes were gathered from the Catholic Relief Services Emergency Response Fact Sheet.