Ahmed's Story

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“Now I can support my children myself.”

The Emergency Support to Gaza Farmers project is providing essential support to farmers, enabling them to restore and replant agricultural assets that were damaged in the summer conflict of 2014. The project is aiming to rehabilitate 300 dunums (1,000 square metres / 0.10 ha) of agricultural land and return them to productivity. This will include the restoration of 28 damaged greenhouses. It will mean that 130 farmers’ livelihoods will be restored and once again they can plant their lands and secure a regular income for their families. At least 3000 working days will be created for unemployed workers.

Here is a story from the field, as the project reaches its midway point:

Ahmed* is a Palestinian farmer who lives with six family members in Al Shoka near Rafah in Gaza. He owns three dunums of land that was damaged during the 2014 assault on Gaza. Since then, he has not had the financial means to replant his land and he and his family have become dependent on humanitarian aid.

Ahmed said, “Since the conflict of 2014 my life has been miserable. I could not work my land, I could not find other work and as a result I cannot support the basic needs of my family. I lost hope. ”

Since the start of this project Ahmed’s life has taken a positive turn. He explained, “This is the first project in our area since 2014. I knew about the project from the community committees that have been formed by the project team. My land was levelled and ploughed as part of the project. I have also received seedlings, equipment for irrigation networks, and fertilizers”.

He added, “This has made a huge difference. I returned to work. My children are happy to help me plant and harvest the melons at last. I had a good season with good production. My land has yielded five tonnes of melons so far, and I expect to have another two tonnes by the end of the end of the season. I have made almost NIS 6,000 [US$ 1,700]. This amount is sufficient for me to plant my land next season [the beginning of September]. Now I can support my children myself.  I just got them ready for school, with new school uniforms and stationery. Life is finally getting back to normal after three years of despair.”

*Names have been changed.