Past and Present Programs in the Holy Land
IOCC has worked in the Holy Land since 1997, collaborating with the local Orthodox Church and other partners, as well as with hospitals, schools, and other community groups, to address various needs through emergency assistance, agriculture aid, economic and educational opportunity, psychosocial support, and other humanitarian programs.
Reaching people displaced by the conflict that began in October 2023, IOCC has provided essential items in Gaza such as water, nonperishable food, hot meals, fresh meat, baby formula, and hygiene items. Through the years, IOCC has mobilized quickly to meet similar urgent needs amid conflict. Since 2009, IOCC has provided water, hot meals, food items, hygiene kits, and other nonfood items to over 30,000 families.
Education and Opportunity
IOCC has opened three vocational centers where hundreds of young adults train for in-demand sectors like technology, mobile phone repair, solar power, and more. The program placed hundreds of 18- to 26-year- old high-school and university graduates with community organizations. IOCC has managed multiple livelihoods projects that improved community infrastructure, reaching over 60,000 people.
Food Security and Agriculture
Through IOCC, more than 2,500 households in the West Bank and Gaza have received agricultural supplies and training for home gardens or greenhouses, livestock care or beekeeping. Hundreds of women have participated in IOCC’s agricultural activities, trained in farming and marketing, and received specialized equipment like solar-powered herb dryers, helping them grow food for their families and for income at market.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
Water is crucial for both basic good health and successful farming, especially in an arid climate. IOCC has furnished water catchments that collect rainwater, as well as tanks for drinking water, providing infrastructure that serves farmers and their neighbors.
Children's Health and Nutrition
Through a wide network of community-based organizations, IOCC has trained kindergarten teachers and staff to recognize the signs of trauma and malnutrition in young children and make referrals for treatment. IOCC has reached thousands of Gazan children with psychosocial support to help mitigate the impacts of conflict.
UPDATE: CONFLICT IN GAZA
Responding to Urgent Needs
Since 1997, the largest, most impactful activities of IOCC’s programmatic footprint in the Holy Land have taken place in Gaza. Special focus has been on helping women-headed households improve their food-growing and income-earning abilities, and on connecting young adults with vocational training and job experience. Our long presence in Gaza has fostered deep relationships and effective humanitarian partnerships, so IOCC can deliver aid expediently when new needs arise.
Since conflict began in October 2023, IOCC has remained in close communication with partners and staff on the ground, including our Church partner in Gaza. As the situation changes and develops, IOCC teams across the Middle East are working closely with our US-based team to determine the most urgent needs and to find ways we can best assist. IOCC remains committed to ongoing service in the Holy Land and has already provided the following aid in response to the current humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.
Emergency Food, Water, and Supplies
To assist displaced people, including hundreds sheltering in church buildings, IOCC provided emergency food and water, and hygiene items. IOCC has also supplied fresh meat and produce as available, plus shelf-stable food staples like flour and cooking oil, and disposable plates, utensils, and cups. Hot daily meals for displaced people provide additional nourishment amid tremendous hardship, while plastic sheeting covers windows and helps insulate damaged buildings against the weather.
Help for Infants and Children
To ensure that infants and youngsters have more of the food they need even amid great chaos, IOCC has provided baby formula and potable water to families affected by this conflict. Parents and caregivers have also received diapers to help keep their littles ones clean and healthy.
IOCC is working to provide medicine to displaced people with chronic conditions, helping the elderly and ill manage their health amid upheaval. Medication for asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions are among the supplies delivered.
The impacts of this conflict will be deeply felt and long-lasting. Long-term needs will include rebuilding and providing emotional and spiritual care. IOCC remains committed to humanitarian work in the Holy Land, to our staff there, and especially to the thousands of people already helped by IOCC’s long-term work in the region. To support this work with a gift, visit iocc.org/holyland23.