Yesterday, in its Vatican Insider section, the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa published an interview with Sami El-Yousef, CNEWA’s regional director for Palestine and Israel. The discussion focused chiefly on the many challenges facing Gaza, and efforts of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine — CNEWA’s operating agency in the region — to provide support for its people through parishes and church institutions:
You were just a few days ago in Gaza. How is the situation there and what is PMP doing to support the population, in particular concerning the creation of job positions?
Indeed I am a frequent visitor to Gaza as I make approximately six visits per year consistently since I joined the Mission in 2009. Our work is concentrated in Gaza through providing services to the community at large with no distinction to religion, color, race, or gender. Such work is done through a number of partners in Gaza including the Latin Parish and its institutions including the Holy Family School, the Latin Patriarchate School, and other operations of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word. Additionally our partners include the Ahli Arab Hospital being the only Christian hospital in Gaza; the Near East Council of Churches clinics and vocational training centers; the Rosary Sisters School; and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), among others. The variety of support included humanitarian support during wars, renovation of premises, equipment and furniture grants, programmatic support where needed such as malnourishment programs and psycho-social support, scholarship support, youth sector support, pastoral programs, and capacity building and job creation. A star project will be launched soon that will provide 16 unemployed Christian youth with employment for 12 months in one of our partner institutions. This will undoubtedly help our Christian youth building their experience and at the same time bring some much-needed income. It is noteworthy to mention that the unemployment rate of Gaza is about 45%, the highest in the world.
Read the rest at La Stampa.
To accompany the people of Gaza as they endure through one of the most afflicted economic, political and social climates in the world, click here.