Food aid brings brief relief

20/08/2014

Alex Snary, Director of World Vision's operations in Jerusalem, West Bank & Gaza

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced in Gaza. Many of them are living with extended family in excruciatingly cramped conditions, with few to no resources, no food, and no water. World Vision has been reaching out and supporting families in need as the situation allows—primarily during ceasefires.
 
Caring for children during the conflict
During one such distribution, Alex Snary, Director of World Vision's operations in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza met Manal Al Masry and her extended family; one of the many families displaced by the destruction of Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza.
 
Like many, their situation is dire. They fled after their home was destroyed by artillery fire, killing at least 18 family members; many others are still missing or unaccounted for.
 
Cramped conditions
For the past 20 days, 32 people, 16 of them children, have been living in one tiny room. With stifling heat, no water for bathing and such cramped conditions, hunger is not their only concern. Two of the children are sick with fever and diarrhoea, and several others have severe skin rashes because of the lack of hygiene facilities. Day after day the children are trapped in this small room as it is too dangerous to go outside and play.


Three of the children had been receiving trauma counselling from World Vision in response to the last Gaza war, in 2012. This time the trauma they are experiencing is much worse.
 
Reham, 10, talks about the skills they learned for dealing with the trauma and how she feels less stressed when they play the 'games' (stress relieving techniques) taught to them by their counsellor.
 
Ibrahim, 13, proudly explains how he learned to evacuate the house and where to hide when under shelling at World Vision's Disaster Resilience training.
 
Before receiving food aid from World Vision, the family were buying water and food daily, using money borrowed from neighbours, but this was not enough to meet even their basic needs. World Vision has distributed 2500 food parcels to date. More distributions are planned as the conflict situation allows.