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Over 70 INGOs, including MRG, urge the UK government to secure an urgent ceasefire in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories

25 October 2023

On 18 October 2023, 77 leaders from UK international non-governmental organizations, including MRG, united in signing a statement. This joint declaration urges the UK government to intensify its endeavours to secure an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. The call for action follows the recent explosions at al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital in Gaza and the escalating instability and humanitarian crisis in the region. In the joint statement, they have all said:

The horrific blast at al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital in Gaza must serve as a wake-up call to the international community. We urge global leaders to call for an immediate ceasefire.

Without this there can be no safe humanitarian access which would allow NGOs and humanitarian agencies to urgently get food, clean water, and medical supplies into Gaza. Civilians, particularly women, the young and old, and people with disabilities, are already bearing the brunt of this escalating and tragic crisis and must be allowed to move to safety and be protected wherever they are.

The UK Prime Minister should urgently help secure a ceasefire and uphold the UK’s responsibilities to ensure international humanitarian law is adhered to, to prevent further escalation and more lives being lost. It must act now to avoid a wider regional conflict.

Finally, we call on international actors to find a long-term, sustainable, just and peaceful solution for all people across the region.

Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB Chief Executive, said:

Too many lives have been lost in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank and the world must intervene now to stop the violence. It is not too late to save those who are still alive but fearing the worst.

Millions of people in Gaza are currently in a desperate situation; families are sheltering in cramped conditions with no running water, putting them at risk of deadly diseases like cholera. Food and drinking water supplies are dwindling. Children are afraid and it seems impossible to protect civilians from harm.

UK and world leaders need to do all they can to secure an immediate ceasefire, to ensure water and power and fuel is available to meet human needs, and to allow humanitarian aid in, so we can prevent many more lives from being lost.

Dr. Halima Begum, CEO of ActionAid UK, said:

ActionAid continues to call for an immediate ceasefire and an urgent end to this devastating cycle of escalation. We have now seen thousands of people killed and injured, and if this cycle continues, the number of victims will only grow exponentially. Let us be clear: any attack on civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and schools, the taking of hostages and the blocking of humanitarian aid represents a serious potential violation of international humanitarian law and compounds the already dire humanitarian situation.

Conditions across Gaza are now entirely incompatible with basic humanitarian standards. Water, medicine, food and shelter are all in critically short supply, particularly in Southern Gaza where civilians are essentially trapped in a humanitarian bottleneck. We implore all parties, including the US and Britain as well as Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt, to do all in their power to help implement safe humanitarian corridors and access into Gaza so that desperately needed humanitarian assistance including food, water and medicine can be immediately distributed. Hundreds of thousands of civilians in Gaza now face the stark choice between staying in the positions in which they are currently seeking shelter – and facing the risk of bombing and starvation – or fleeing to the southern bottleneck in exceptionally dangerous conditions, with no guarantee of their safety. This escalating cycle of violence and suffering must now stop.

List of signatories

  1. Gideon Rabinowitz, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Bond
  2. Tanya Buynovskaya, Director of Operations, HealthProm
  3. Ian Shapiro, CEO, Reall
  4. Nabeel Al Ramadhani, CEO, Human Relief Foundation
  5. Khalid Javid, CEO, Muslim Aid
  6. Rob Capener, Group CEO, Railway Children
  7. Mark Galloway, Executive Director, International Broadcasting Trust
  8. Mukhtar Amirali Karim, CEO, The Lady Fatemah (as) Charitable Trust
  9. John Reynolds, CEO, Inf
  10. Martin Drewry, CEO, Health Poverty Action
  11. Yasmin Batliwala, CEO, Advocates for International Development
  12. Nicola Swan, Executive Director, BE REEL
  13. Adele Paterson, CEO, International Health Partners
  14. Victoria Lupton, Founder & CEO, Seenaryo
  15. Gwen Hines, Chief Executive, Save the Children
  16. Jessica Woodroffe, Director, Gender and Development Network (GADN)
  17. Tim Livesey, CEO, Embrace the Middle East
  18. Peter Waddup, CEO, The Leprosy Mission England & Wales
  19. Sandra Golding, CEO, Feed the Minds
  20. Jonathan Wakely, Director, Tutela Africa
  21. Kate Newman, CEO, INTRAC
  22. Alison Wallace, CEO, SOS Children’s Villages UK
  23. Jean-Michel Grand, Executive Director, Action Against Hunger
  24. Adrian Lovett, CEO, Development Initiatives
  25. Sheniz Tan, CEO, Asfar
  26. Joshua Castellino & Claire Thomas, Co-Executive Directors, Minority Rights Group
  27. Ben Simms, Chief Executive, Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET)
  28. Michael Deriaz, Chairman, Friends of Kipkelion
  29. Marcos Concepcion Raba, Executive Director, GNDR – Global Network of CSOs for Disaster
  30. Cherian Mathews, CEO, HelpAge International
  32. Steve Murigi, Chief Executive Officer, Primary Care International
  33. Waseem Ahmad, Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Relief Worldwide
  34. Gazala Shaikh, Director, Dalit Solidarity Network UK (DSN UK)
  35. Rose Caldwell, CEO, Plan International UK
  36. Michael Gidney, Chief Executive, Fairtrade Foundation
  37. Fiona Gorton, Company Secretary, Omega Research Foundation
  38. Nigel Harris, CEO, Tearfund
  39. Darren Cormack, CEO, MAG
  40. Josephine Rodgers, Executive Director, Access Agriculture
  41. Christine Allen, Director, CAFOD
  42. Tom Dannatt, CEO, Street Child
  43. George Graham, Chief Executive, Humanity & Inclusion UK
  44. Monowara Gani, CEO, Doctors Worldwide
  45. Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies
  46. Osai Ojigho, Director of Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns, Christian Aid
  47. Alison Marshall, CEO, Age International
  48. Camilla Knox-Peebles, Chief executive, Amref UK
  49. Dr Mohamed Ashmawey, Chief Executive Officer, Human Appeal
  50. Petter Matthews, Executive Director, Engineers Against Poverty
  51. Angie Garvich, Managing Director, Al Madad Foundation
  52. Anil Patil, Executive Director, Carers Worldwide
  53. Dr. Halima Begum, CEO, ActionAid UK
  54. Dylan Mathews, CEO, Peace Direct
  55. frances guy, CEO, Scotland’s International Development Alliance
  56. Fiona Greig, CEO, Link Education International
  57. Christina Bennett, CEO, Start Network
  58. Ahsan H., Abbasi, Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) – UK
  59. Piers Bradford, Managing Director, Project Everyone
  60. Nic Hailey, Executive Director, International Alert
  61. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General, IPPF
  62. Tom Mitchell, Executive Director, International Institute for Environment and Development
  63. Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive, WaterAid UK
  64. Othman Moqbel, CEO, Action For Humanity
  65. Fola Komolafe MBE DL, Chief Executive Officer, World Vision UK
  66. Martin Hartberg, Director, NRC
  67. Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB
  68. Laura Kyrke-Smith, Executive Director, International Rescue Committee UK
  69. Harpinder Collacott, Executive Director, Mercy Corps Europe
  70. Jon Sparkes OBE, Chief Executive, The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK)
  71. Helen McEachern, CEO, CARE International UK
  72. Parmi Dheensa, Executive Director, Include Me TOO
  73. Mark Waddington, CEO, Hope and Homes for Children
  74. Mona Sinha, Global Executive Director, Equality Now
  75. Jess Camburn, Chief Executive Officer, Elrha
  76. Lorraine Currie, Director of Integral Human Development, Scottish Catholic International Aid
    Fund (SCIAF)
  77. Gillian McMahon, Executive Director, Right To Play UK

Notes to editors

  • The blast at al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital in Northern Gaza has killed an estimated 500 people with over 3,000 civilians killed in Gaza and 1,300 civilians in Israel killed since 7 October.
  • The humanitarian situation in Gaza has deteriorated since 7 October when Hamas militants first crossed the border with Israel and killed over 1,300 Israeli civilians and kidnapped an estimated 199 hostages which led to rocket attacks and airstrikes across the region.
  • All the signatories are members of Bond, the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 350 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.