Government advises cash over goods donations for Gaza as aid deliveries begin

23 Oct 2023 News

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Individuals and UK companies should prioritise cash donations over goods when donating to Gaza, the UK government has advised, as aid deliveries have been allowed into the city in recent days.

Charities previously urged the government to lobby for emergency aid to be allowed to be delivered in Gaza.

On Saturday, the Israeli government allowed some aid trucks to enter Gaza via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office stated that donations through established and well-coordinated emergency response appeal mechanisms, such as the appeal by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) and the British Red Cross are the most effective way to support populations in crisis.

If members of the public wish to give through other trusted aid organisations, it recommended that they check they are registered with the Charity Commission.

“One of the best ways to help is by donating cash through trusted charities and aid organisations, rather than donating goods,” it said.

“Currently, delivering aid into Gaza is complex and reliant on the Rafah border crossing.”

For UK companies wishing to donate they are recommended to also donate through established emergency response appeal mechanisms, or through other trusted aid organisations.

Fundraising Regulator

A spokesperson for the Fundraising Regulator said: “The dramatic escalation in violence in Israel and Gaza is deeply alarming, and the charity sector is tirelessly working to respond to the crisis and provide urgent aid.

“As with any emergency response, ensuring the steadfast generosity of the public goes to genuine causes is vitally important. Therefore, we advise members of the public and businesses wishing to donate to charities supporting relief work in Israel and Gaza to take recommended checks before donating money or goods or giving any financial information. 

“These steps include looking out for the Fundraising badge – the logo that says ‘registered with Fundraising Regulator’ – and checking the Fundraising Regulator’s directory of organisations which have committed to fundraise in line with the Code of Fundraising Practice.

“If you think that a collection or appeal is not legitimate, report it to the police. If you think the collection is fraudulent, report it to Action Fraud.”

Red Cross: Long-term humanitarian response needed

A British Red Cross spokesperson said: “Teams from the Palestine Red Crescent Society, who were already present in Gaza and the West Bank, are supporting thousands of people with ambulances and medical care and the Magen David Adom in Israel is mobilising first responders to help the injured and collecting blood for medical facilities.

“The International Committee of the Red Cross is continuing to provide healthcare, medical supplies, and vital aid in Gaza and helping to locate missing people. They stand ready to provide further support on both sides.

“We need an urgent and long-term humanitarian response to address the escalating need.”

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