Dear Friends and partners of Gaza Urban & Peri-urban Agriculture Platform (GUPAP),
Our local food system in Gaza has long-suffered from the state of high vulnerability and fragility, imposed by more than 14 years of the blockage that has cut us off from the rest of the world. This situation has now been radically accelerated by the ongoing Israeli bombardment of Gaza. Farmers in the Gaza Strip number around 20,000 – approximately 95% are poorly resourced family farmers working small areas of land. These farmers, men and women, are actually the backbone and the secret behind the survival and resilience of Gaza’s food system throughout these years of protracted crisis and isolation (incl. the COVID pandemic).
During these years of blockade until now, our farmers have been feeding the residents of the Gaza Strip from their empty pockets due to cheap Israeli imports that suppress prices and undercut our own farmers. Now they are faced with yet more suffering and rights violations being witnessed by the whole world. In addition to losing their rights to protection and a decent living, farmers are unable to access their lands which are now exposed to more damage and losses. Who will feed Gaza now?
GUPAP calls on you not to forget these farmers at this time and to show solidarity with them in the current crisis. Please join us in advocating their human rights – to protection, to a decent life, to their land and livelihoods, freedom, dignity and peace, and to life itself – like the rest of world’s farmers. We do believe that these rights should be guaranteed under international human rights law, but we are once again left feeling isolated and alone.
*For additional information on situation in Gaza/Palestine, please see below OCHA flash update
In Peace, Love & Justice!