Rizq and his family have been living in a shelter made of metal sheets since their home was destroyed in the 2014 conflict in Gaza. This winter, as temperatures plummet below five degrees Celsius, Rizq’s family find themselves without enough heating or blankets, struggling to survive the harsh weather.
Unfortunately their story is far from an isolated case. According to a survey by Shelter Cluster, 23% of Gazan families live in dilapidated housing, while a further 27% live in homes that damage their health.
As well as conflict, Gaza is subject to import restrictions and poor access to construction materials. Economic conditions continue to deteriorate for Palestinians. “I have been suffering since 2014 especially when the winter comes…after the conflict, everything was destroyed. All the things that I had fixed and repaired in our home were destroyed,” says Rizq.
Such poor housing conditions increase the likelihood of contracting harmful infections and developing respiratory problems. Inadequate shelter is also impacting the mental health and wellbeing of families and disrupting children’s education.
Rizq’s story highlights the struggle of many families in Gaza as well as those without adequate shelter around the world, including refugees and displaced people. With your support we can help them get through the winter months. “I am not asking for a miracle. I just want to live like others”, he says.
In Gaza, we plan to help people like Rizq to repair and improve their homes, so their families are better protected from the wintry weather.
“We can’t imagine how happy we will feel when we get our home fixed and repaired,” he says.
And, through our Winter Appeal, we will give survival items such as blankets and heaters to vulnerable families in Gaza and beyond. Please donate to our Winter Appeal.