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Public warned of informal Israel-Gaza appeals as charities urge ceasefire

03 Nov 2023 News

Charity Commission building and logo

Civil Society Media

The Charity Commission has advised British members of the public to donate to organisations on its register to help civilians impacted by the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza.

In guidance issued today, the regulator urged people to donate to “established, recognised organisations” including members of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and to be wary of informal appeals shared on social media, online or directly.

Meanwhile, umbrella body NCVO has joined major UK charities in calling for an urgent ceasefire in Gaza and Israel to enable staff and volunteers “to do their work in safety, with the necessary protection and without fear of injury or death”.

Charity Commission guidance

The Charity Commission’s advice follows guidance published by the government last month, which urged people to prioritise cash donations over goods when donating to Gaza.

Commission chief executive Helen Stephenson said: “It is important that every donation reaches its intended cause. In issuing this advice, we are reminding everyone to give with confidence through registered charities including the appeals launched by DEC member charities.  

“Operating in a conflict zone is complex and hazardous, with registered charities and global NGOs working hard to support affected civilians across and within borders.

“These established, recognised organisations already have the networks on the ground for delivering aid and are the best organisations to support financially to ensure donations reach civilians in need.”

The Commission also urged people to be aware of the “several steps and significant legal responsibilities involved in setting up a new charity” and recommended that supporting existing organisations was the “safest, most effective and fastest” way to help civilians in Israel and Gaza.

NCVO: ‘Vital that their staff and volunteers are able to do their work in safety’

Umbrella body NCVO called for an urgent ceasefire in Israel and Gaza in a social media post yesterday, and pledged support for a petition signed by charities including Oxfam, Save the Children and CAFOD.

The petition, which has over 700,000 signatures, calls on all heads of state to support a ceasefire and facilitate the delivery of aid and the safe passage of humanitarian and medical staff to Gaza.

“We’ve joined UK and international voluntary organisations to call for an urgent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and Israel to enable a humanitarian response and prevent further loss of life,” NCVO said.

“Why is NCVO doing this? Many charities and voluntary organisations from England are involved in the aid effort on the ground, including NCVO members.

“It is vital that their staff and volunteers are able to do their work in safety, with the necessary protection and without fear of injury or death.”

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