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Media CenterCRS Calls for Humanitarian Access to Gaza and an Immediate End to Violence

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Megan Gilbert
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(410) 271-8732

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, Oct. 18, 2023 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international humanitarian agency of the United States Catholic Church, is calling for an end to all violence and immediate humanitarian access to Gaza, where more than a million people have been ordered to relocate amid a weeklong bombardment.

“Moving 1.1 million people (of the 2.2 million in Gaza) in the middle of a war zone is impossible and will only lead to unprecedented levels of suffering and further push people to the brink,” said Sean Callahan, president & CEO of CRS. “The situation of civilians in Gaza is extremely alarming and desperate, and we need to act now to prevent a total humanitarian catastrophe.”

CRS and its partners in the region have mobilized and stand ready to meet the immediate needs of displaced families. CRS emergency support will prioritize emergency food, water and living supplies, safe and dignified shelter, protection for the most vulnerable as well as trauma counseling.

A land, air, and sea blockade has been in place in Gaza since 2007, so emergency supplies are limited. Since Oct. 7, electricity has been cut off and no food, water, fuel, or other goods have been allowed into Gaza. People will run out of essential supplies, and in some instances already have, if humanitarian access isn’t given.

"Millions are currently trapped, including 1 million children, in a nightmare of violence and displacement, with no end in sight. They need urgent humanitarian action. We cannot stand by and watch them suffer. We must act now to save lives and restore hope," Callahan said.

Commenting on President Biden's visit to Israel, Callahan added, "We appreciate the president's call for respect for the human dignity of all and his announcement that humanitarian aid will be allowed into Gaza from Egypt. Civilians in Gaza cannot wait any longer and this plan must be implemented immediately."

We join Pope Francis' call for people worldwide to "pray that there be peace in Israel and Palestine."

CRS has been working in the Holy Land since 1961, providing emergency relief, health care, education, livelihoods and peacebulding programs to vulnerable Palestinians.

To arrange an interview with Mr. Callahan, please contact [email protected].


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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