Helping Struggling Families in Gaza Survive the Winter


As the first winter showers hit the Gaza Strip, Palestinian families are struggling to keep themselves warm and gain access to essential aid and resources.

In Gaza, the advent of winter marks a season of infrastructure problems, rainwater flooding and massive power cuts. Per day, people receive just 40 per cent of required power as a result of the city power plant’s inability to operate at full capacity due to a lack of fuel, placing the continuation of basic essential services at risk.

This, combined with the lack of funding and successive sieges that have further worn-out the infrastructure of houses and buildings within the Gaza Strip, has left Palestinians suffering through another winter season.

Palestine needs external aid to survive the winter weather

Islamic Relief teams are on the ground in the Gaza Strip, distributing survival items to help more than 455,000 vulnerable people get through the harsh winter season. The intervention is assisting people like Yasser, who lives in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Photo: Like many people living within the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Yasser and his family have suffered through successive winters struggling to stay warm without enough winter essentials and winter-proof housing.

“I have a heart condition, so I am not able to work and therefore we rely on social affairs and other aid to survive,” says Yasser, who lives with his wife and 5 children in a dangerously dilapidated house in Gaza.

“It has been hard living in my house. It didn’t have windows or doors and we were even afraid to move around the house as the ceiling could fall. There were too many cracks in it, this made us suffer from the extreme heat in the summer and the cold in the winter.”

Wintry weather meant more misery for the family

“My family always suffers a lot in the winter. Cold air comes in everywhere, and when it rained the whole house would flood. I would spend the night moving around, making sure my children would stay warm. During the daytime, I would move from one hospital to another to get treatment for my children who got ill during the winter due to their poor immune systems.”

It was a worrying, exhausting way to live, Yasser adds, “This has made me so tired and worried and makes me feel sad for my children.”

But thanks to Islamic Relief, the father-of-5 was able to improve his family’s living conditions.

“I was so worried for my children: thank God for Islamic Relief’s winter assistance.”

Yasser says: “Thank God for Islamic Relief’s winterisation project: it has allowed me to buy the tools needed for the house. Before I only had 3 mattresses between a family of 8, and now we have enough mattresses and blankets for all of us.

“Thank God, they have installed windows and doors, and worked on tiling the floor and repairing the cracks in the wall. I am optimistic that this winter my children will not drown from the rainwater flooding our home as they sleep.

“Through the Islamic Relief project, we were able to make so many repairs which will make our lives better this winter.”

Photo: Islamic Relief is working with people like Yasser to provide their families with winter-proof housing to help them stay safe and warm through a season of harsh cold weather.

You could change the lives of more families like Yasser’s

Imagine the fear and feeling of helplessness that would grip you as bombs fall on your neighbourhood, while you struggled to find enough food and medicine for your family in harsh cold weather.

Islamic Relief Australia is helping vulnerable families in 17 countries to survive the harsh winter elements. In worst-hit regions like the Gaza Strip in Palestine, Islamic Relief is on the ground, delivering food packs, blankets, mattresses, winter clothes and other heating items to those who need them most.

Your donation would give fathers like Yasser the basic essentials and proper housing infrastructure he needs to help his family stay warm this winter. Ensure that they get the relief they need by showing your support.

Keep someone warm this winter appeal

Support and donate to the winter appeal to help vulnerable families stay warm as they make their way through harsh winter months.