A prayer day in Gaza as ActionAid works to deliver aid | ActionAid UK

Today is a day of prayer in Gaza, but the streets are still very busy with people out trying to stock up on food and water and to see if they can salvage anything from their damaged homes.

Our staff are still working to get supplies to the 3,570 displaced people we are supporting.

One of them is Mahmoud Zeed Alkfarna, 34, who is staying in a school building with his two young children after their house in Bait Hanoun was destroyed.

Mahmoud’s cousin was still in the house when it was hit by a rocket. As his cousin lay waiting for medical assistance, the ambulance that was coming to take him to hospital for emergency treatment, was also hit by rocket fire. As a consequence, Mahmoud’s cousin died, along with his young son.

Mahmoud lost everything he owned and was left with only the clothes on his back.

ActionAid has given Mahmoud a voucher equivalent to around $300 (£180) which has enabled him to purchase not only food, but also other essential kitchen items and toiletries. Mahmoud was happy because he was also able to buy his children a few sweets.

He said: “My children have suffered enough. I am pleased because getting them some sweets is something they can finally look forward to.” In addition to food, the ActionAid voucher meant Mahmoud could buy cutlery, herbs, oil and a small gas cooker.

No kind of life

Assad Moussa Hussein Hasheny, 52, whose house was also destroyed, is staying at his brother’s house where 32 people are living under one roof.

His children were traumatised by the attacks and are quieter than they were before. “I don’t know where we will go after this,” he said. “My brother’s house is very crowded. It is no kind of life.”

ActionAid has given Assad and his family a voucher: “I don’t know what we would do without this voucher. It has been great to receive it because you can buy more than just food. Today I will buy my children some new clothes and some kitchen equipment so we do not have to share plates in my brother’s home.”

We are part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and together we’ve launched a crisis appeal.

Photos: Andrew McConnell/Panos Pictures/ActionAid.