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Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)
By Carol Schachet
January 29th, 2009
For years, the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) has been turning food aid that feeds dependency on its head. Their Farm to Table program purchases food for hungry families from local Palestinian farmers to address critical humanitarian needs and provide local farmers with needed income. Like nearly all organizations working in Gaza, PARC's operations came to a swift halt on December 27, 2008, when Israeli Defense Forces began bombing the region. Their buildings were severely damaged, along with the rooftop and backyard gardens at the core of the urban farm program.
By Salena Tramel
May 2nd, 2008
No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
- Fourth Geneva Convention, article 33
Nonviolence. Opportunity. Innovation. In the wake of the recent escalating violence and food insecurity in Gaza, our grassroots partners have redoubled their quest for social change and sustainability in one of the most troubled places in the world. We are humbled by their laudable tenacity in the face of massive obstacles.
Gaza's humanitarian situation is at its worst since Israel occupied the territory in 1967, say human rights and development groups including Amnesty International, Save the Children, Cafod, Care International and Christian Aid.
November 1st, 2007
Partner press release from Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)
The Government of Israel continues to tighten the noose on the Palestinian People through imposing the economic closure on the Gaza Strip as a form of collective punishment. Israel has declared the Gaza Strip "a hostile entity," and is beginning to translate this declaration into practical steps; for example, Israel doesn't permit any access to raw materials, so 85% of Gaza manufacturing business has been closed down with over 35,000 workers laid off. An additional 35,000 workers have been laid off from other sectors including construction, trade and service sectors. All imports and exports remain blocked while few basic materials are allowed to enter the Strip. Medical supplies are lacking in the hospitals which reduces hospitals' capacity to treat patients.
Interview with Ahmed Sourani, PARC-Gaza
September 13, 2006
One of the best things about working at Grassroots International is the incredible circle of people we are able to connect with.
Photographs by Jennifer Lemire for Grassroots International
Many things have changed in the Gaza Strip since Hamas won the elections in January 2006 according to the public will. The E.U. and U.S.
PARC is one of the largest NGOs in Palestine concerned with sustainable rural development and social change.
The Gaza Strip is a difficult place to begin a trip. In Gaza, the full impact of the occupation hits you smack in the face the very second you reach Erez. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world...if not the most. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), one of GRI's partners, approximately 1.3 million people are living on 365 square kilometers of land. Nearly 900,000 residents are considered refugees, about half of whom are living in the 8 camps in Gaza. 61% of the population is under 19 years old and the average family size of 6.9. In a recent publication, B'tselem, an Israeli human rights group, reports that more than 77% of Gazans now live below the poverty line - almost double the number before the intifada -and that some 23 percent of Gazans are in "deep poverty," meaning that they do not reach the subsistence poverty line even after receiving aid from international agencies.