WAUK Newsletter 13/03/2019


1. Emergency Winter Support for Families in Gaza

Families living in Gaza are facing the worst economic conditions in years. The ongoing blockade imposed on Gaza and the three military assaults since 2008 have had a devastating impact. These include massive infrastructure damage, a sharp rise in unemployment and a high inflation rate. Thousands of families are still unable to return home and live in sub-standard or overcrowded conditions. The ongoing electricity crisis, with power dropping to just four hours a day, is an extra struggle for thousands of families during winter when the weather conditions worsen with very cold temperatures, storms and flooding.

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This emergency project, distributing heavy duty family blanket packs and sets of warm winter clothing for children, addressed the needs of some of the most marginalised families and their children in Rafah, southern Gaza.

The children’s warm clothes packages included:  pyjamas, trousers, two woollen jumpers, underwear, two pairs of socks, a winter jacket and a set with a hat, scarf and a pair of winter gloves. Two heavy quality winter blanket packs were provided for each family. The generous donations of our supporters at WA-UK meant that 70 more families and 210 more children were able to receive a blanket pack and clothing than anticipated.

In total 292 families and 876 children were supported this winter. A very big thank you to our supporters for contributing so generously to this project, it has made a huge difference for these families in Gaza.


2. Emergency Winter Support for Palestinian Families in Wavel Refugee Camp, Lebanon 

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Wavel Refugee Camp in the Bekaa region of Lebanon experiences severe winter weather conditions including snow, flooding and very cold overnight temperatures. The Palestinian refugee families living there struggle to stay warm in poorly constructed shelters, often with damaged roofs, windows and doors which, they can’t afford to repair. This project provided 850 of the most vulnerable families with a set of vouchers to exchange for fuel, heating and cooking. Each family received US$80 of fuel coupons (4xUS$20 vouchers).


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The distribution of vouchers was completed the day before a severe winter storm hit on 25th December 2018. The storm caused road closures and brought gusty winds, snow and cold temperatures to the Bekaa region. Families were thankful to make full use of the fuel during this difficult period and the next few weeks when the weather was so bad that schools were closed and their children stayed at home. 


3. Restoring Livelihoods for Gaza Farmers

This seven-month project, due to finish in April 2019, is restoring the livelihoods of 45  farmers, so they may secure a source of income for their families, increase their self-reliance and help meet the food needs of their local communities when their crops are harvested. The project is rehabilitating 90 dunums (1 dunum = 1000 square metres) of agricultural land, which has been badly damaged as a result of Israeli bombardment in the 2014 war. The 90 dunums of open fields will be cleared and ploughed, irrigation networks will be installed, and then taking into consideration soil type, availability of water and produce lacking in the local markets, the land will be planted with various types of vegetables and fruit trees. In addition, to complete all of these activities, the project will provide over 1000 working days for 25 unemployed agricultural labourers. The farmers will be given expert advice to ensure their crops are ready to be harvested in time to be marketed for the upcoming Ramadan period. This project is linked to a new project distributing fresh food packs to hundreds of impoverished families in Gaza each week for five weeks during Ramadan, much of the farmers produce will be purchased for distribution in the Ramadan project.

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