Winter hits hard in Gaza six months after the conflict | ActionAid UK

It is six months since the conflict in Gaza but as winter hits hard, thousands of people are still in desperate need of basic items to survive the cold weather.

Hajer Ahmed Saleh stands outside her bombed house in Gaza
Hajer Ahmed Saleh stands outside what remains of her bombed house in Gaza

Around 100,000 people are still internally displaced and shockingly the entire population of Gaza – 1.8 million people – are in need. Recently the UN said that 96,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in Gaza last summer, which was more than double the initial estimates.

What we're doing to help

Thanks to our supporters we raised £1.2 million for our Gaza Crisis Appeal last year. ActionAid Palestine has been working hard to help the comunities that have been worst affected and is currently giving out vouchers worth £165 to around 500 families, benefitting 3,000 people altogether, so they can buy the basic essentials, such as:

  • bedding and blankets
  • warm clothing, particularly for children
  • heaters
  • plastic sheets to make damaged homes waterproof

We are prioritising people most in need, such as:

  • women-headed households
  • families who have not received help from other agencies already
  • families with members who have disabilities or are elderly

Hajer's story of losing everything

Hajer Ahmed Saleh is from Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, which was one of the worst-hit areas.

10 years ago Hajer sold her gold jewellery to help build a home for her family and they slowly equipped it with amenities like a washing machine and a fridge. Nothing is left. Their house was destroyed by the bombing.

Now she lives in a temporary shelter with her husband and six children, which they made from prefabricated tin rooms. They built it in front of the rubble remains of their old house.

They lost everything but she is still getting calls from stores asking her to pay the remaining instalments for her household items. “Where will we get the money to pay them?” she asks. “My husband is a construction worker and he can barely find work.”

ActionAid vouchers help keep her children warm

Even more urgent is the need to keep her children warm as the harsh winter weather sets in. She has three daughters and three sons, all aged between two and nine. Thanks to our supporters, Hajer's famlily is one of the many families that we have been able to help by providing a cash voucher. This will enable them to buy goods like blankets, mattresses, jackets and shoes for basic protection against the weather in their cold, metal shelter.

If you would like to help us reach more families, it's not too late to give to our appeal.