oPT | 2021 | CBPF
occupied Palestinian Territory, Gaza. Lina and Ali’s home gives them, their children, and Ali’s sick mother the essential privacy and protection that everyone should have.
It was not always so. For many years, Palestinians in Gaza have been mostly isolated from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory and exposed to recurrent escalations in hostilities.
As a result, many of them have not been able to work, and more than half the residents is poor. As Palestinian refugees whose families originate from areas now part of Israel, Lina and Ali are eligible for humanitarian assistance from the United Nations.
But they have refused to rely on such support solely, and Ali has seized every opportunity to work and provide for the family. But sometimes, it was not enough. They could not afford appropriate bathroom or kitchen facilities, and the house lacked basic furniture, including beds. Money was also not enough for them to cover for proper insulation during the cold winter.
“I want a normal home,” Lina told us. “Every time a season ends, I fear of what the next one will bring.” The May 2021 escalation of hostilities between Israeli forces and armed Palestinian groups in Gaza worsened the situation. It was devastating. Beyond deaths and injuries, over 58,000 residential units were either damaged or destroyed altogether.
Subsequently, people who had already lived in poor conditions were now left with less than the little they had. The fighting took a heavy toll on Lina and Ali’s home. The ceiling was damaged, windows were shattered, and walls cracked.
ACTED, supported by the occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF), stepped in to help. They provided Lina and Ali with cash assistance so they could fix the damage and make basic repairs to the house.
With this support, they repaired two rooms, fixed their kitchen and bathroom, and bought a water tank. They also fixed the ceiling and the windows to protect the family from bad weather and secure some privacy.
The support was part of a larger project. Overall, assistance was provided to over 200 households across Gaza. Families received cash to rehabilitate and make basic upgrades their homes, and beds, cleaning kits or other items were also provided. “My dream was to have a home where we can be protected and live our lives with dignity,” Lina said. “We made it come true.”
* All names have been changed to respect people’s privacy.
More information on the oPT Humanitarian Fund:
OCHA – POOLED FUNDS DATA HUB – By Country (unocha.org)