Media CenterSix Months On, CRS Expands Humanitarian Operations in Gaza; Calls for Immediate End to Violence

Photo by Mohammad Al Hout for CRS

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Megan Gilbert
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(443) 825-3640

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, April 8, 2024 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its local partners are expanding efforts to provide life-saving humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. CRS has served more than 750,000 people since the conflict began in early October 2023, with shelter and hygiene supplies, cash and food parcels.

CRS has set up operational hubs in Rafah and Deir al Balah, including distribution points, offices, warehouses and guesthouses, as well as a distribution point in Khan Younis. CRS’ scale-up plan includes setting up additional distribution points throughout the southern half of Gaza. CRS is collaborating with local partners in Gaza City and North Gaza to prepare for safe distributions as soon as aid can reach these areas.

“None of this would be possible without the incredible work of our Gazan staff,” Jason Knapp, country representative for CRS in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza said. “Most of them are displaced, many of them multiple times. They have lost homes and family members. Yet they continue to work every day to serve those in need. I am humbled and inspired by these colleagues.”

In the last six months in Gaza, CRS has distributed cash, bedding supplies, tarps, tents, hygiene kits and food parcels in partnership with the World Food Programme, reaching hundreds of thousands of people. CRS is also supporting families who have sought refuge in several churches with cash and food. 

“The situation in the north is especially dire – much more assistance is needed on a consistent basis,” Knapp said. “We prioritize people living in the most vulnerable situations, so our goal is to begin serving people living in the north as soon as possible.”

Still, more aid is necessary to meet the needs of the 2.3 million people living in Gaza. About 75% of people are displaced, and according to the most recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis released on March 18, the entire population of the Gaza Strip is at a crisis level of food insecurity.

“People are skipping meals, and in some cases going days without eating,” Knapp said. “This is preventable, and it is inhumane to deprive people of food, water and medical care.”

“The people of Gaza are not defined solely by their challenges,” Nesma Naseem, CRS’ shelter field officer in Gaza said. “They are resilient individuals with dreams, aspirations, and the capacity to rebuild their lives. Continued assistance and solidarity can make a meaningful difference in their journey toward recovery. We hope this bad dream will end soon, and we can rebuild our souls and our lives again.”

CRS again calls for an immediate end to the violence, greater humanitarian access to ensure innocent civilians can access food, shelter, and medical attention, protection for humanitarians and innocent civilians and the immediate release of all hostages and others unjustly detained.

As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reiterated on March 23, “As the Holy Father recently said, ‘One cannot move forward in war. We must make every effort to negotiate, to negotiate, to end the war.’ To move forward, a cease fire and a permanent cessation of war and violence is absolutely necessary. To move forward, those held hostage must be released and civilians must be protected. To move forward, humanitarian aid must reach those who are in such dire need.”

CRS works by leveraging longstanding partnerships across the region. In Lebanon, CRS supports its partner Caritas Lebanon to provide aid in southern Lebanon, where there has been fighting. CRS also works closely with the government of Egypt and in Jordan along with its partner, Caritas Jordan, and in collaboration with the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO), to coordinate the procurement and delivery of aid supplies into Gaza.


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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