Dear Supporter,
Welcome to our March 2021 Newsletter, keeping you updated on our vital work.

1. Ramadan Appeal 

Welfare Association is running emergency food distribution projects in Gaza during Ramadan 2021.  We will work locally to buy freshly harvested crops (including vegetables, fruit, herbs etc.) from Gaza farmers in our livelihoods restoration projects, so they can sell their freshly harvested crops at a fair price, and we will package these with chicken and eggs. These packages will be distributed to hundreds of struggling families in the north of Gaza and in Khan Younis in the south of Gaza, each week for the five weeks of Ramadan.

These projects will help to generate an income for struggling farmers, as well as provide food to marginalised families. (Last year, WA distributed fresh food packs to 1,488 families in Gaza during Ramadan.) This year WA will :

  • distribute fresh food packages to more than 1,300 families over the five weeks of Ramadan
  • support 185 small scale farmers, including female farmers and women’s cooperatives
  • reduce hardship on struggling families by supplementing their poor diet and reducing their expenditure on food
  • protect the livelihoods of those affected by the conflict and closure policy
A Gaza child enjoying her freshly picked strawberries

2. Covid-19 Vaccinations for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon

One year since the first case of Covid-19 was registered in Lebanon, over 346,000 individuals have been infected with the virus, of which 4,100 have died.

  • During January and February 2021, the number of infected individuals in Lebanon surged to reach over 4,000 new cases, along with over 50 deaths per day
  • The health sector is under extreme pressure, with over 95% occupancy rate at all available Intensive Care Units (ICU) beds in the country.
  • There has been a devastating effect on the 200,000 (approx.) Palestinian refugees in Lebanon – over 90% were living in extreme poverty even before the surge in newly registered individuals with COVID-19
  • On the 16 February 2021, UNRWA held a press conference and stated that Palestinian refugees are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 in comparison to the rest of the population.

Welfare Association will support the delivery of 100,000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for 50,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, at two doses per person for maximum efficacy.
Your help will save lives and aid in the fight against Covid-19, thank you. 

3. Support for Hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza During the Pandemic

A baby in the ICU

Since March 2020, Welfare Association has been working with hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza to help extend their over-stretched services during the Covid-19 pandemic.  WA helped to support their work handling the scale of infections and high patient numbers. In Gaza we have supported 10 hospitals by providing a range of urgently needed medications and disposables from March through to June last year. The Hospitals included in the project were: Public Aid Society Hospital; Al Awda Hospital / UHWC; Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) Hospital- Gaza; Al Ahli Al-Arabi Hospital; Red Crescent Society- Haidar Abdulshari Centre- Khan Younis; Patients Friends Hospital; Alkarama Hospital/ Patients Care Association; Dar Alsalam Hospital; Palestinian Medical Relief Society Centre, and Saint John’s Hospital.
This project enabled these 10 hospitals to deliver their lifesaving and emergency services, directly aiding over 50,000 people. Medical teams in these hospitals were able to provide the medical services, treatment, and testing of patients to determine if they have coronavirus. Teams were also provided with PPEs to deliver their services safely. Additionally, the project aided patients who were admitted to: Emergency Departments, Triage Points, Delivery Rooms and Obstetric & Gynaecological Clinics inside the hospitals, Outpatient Clinics, Burns Departments, Diabetic Departments, Ophthalmic Services, and elective surgeries. Patients were provided with the required medical services and necessary medications.

WA is also working very closely with the Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem to extend their paediatric ICU services and was able to provide two new ventilators, including an advanced Nava ventilator and a regular paediatric ventilator (and other equipment including: a portable digital x-ray machine, arthroscopy system, syringe pumps and 10 paediatric ICU beds.) During the project the Nava Ventilator supported 37 children. The project has also renovated and equipped the patients’ guardians’ room, where parents and guardians spend time when they are not at their child’s bedside. This room at Makassed was fully refurbished, with improvements made to the kitchen and bathroom areas and new washing facilities, refrigerator, sofa, bed, TV, were provided. This room supports 15 companions per day.

For more information about our work at Makassed Hospital please watch our video here.

4. Restoring Mamluk Buildings, Old City of Jerusalem

Restoration of the Mawardiyya Mosque

 Welfare Association has been working to help preserve, protect and restore historic Mamluk buildings in the Old City of Jerusalem, in a project funded by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This project began in April 2020 and was completed in February 2021.

Mamluk buildings are an important feature of Jerusalem’s heritage. They are valued for their aesthetics, as well as historical, cultural and educational purposes by local residents, scholars and tourists who visit. This project has completed a range of urgently needed restoration works on three significant Mamluk era buildings dating back to the 1400s including: the façade and roof works for Al‐Madrassa Jawhariyya and Ribat AlKurd; three external façades, the dome and the Maqam room of the Turba Sitt Tunshuq al‐Muzaffariyya, and internal works for the Mawardiyya Mosque/Madrassa.
WA also helped to upgrade the skills of local tradesmen with training in restoring the historic stonework of this era and how to manage specific problems that have developed over hundreds of years – including damage, mould, moss growth, etc. The temporary work opportunities created by this project allowed local workers to gain an income, improve their skills and increase their employability in similar projects in the future. This project also included activities to build awareness in the local community, including local schools, of the Mamluk buildings and the restoration work.
Please see this video to find out more about WA’s work in this project.

If you would like to support our projects, please click the donate button