AT TUFAH | GAZA CITY
Eight-year-old Remas, right, alongside her little sister Nour, left. © Photo by UNDP.Background: building under construction housing IDPs; Beit Hanoun. © Photo by OCHA, October 2015
Remas was three years old when the 2014 escalation broke.
Back then, she lived with her family in an apartment building, but it was destroyed in the hostilities.
Her mother, Afnan, told UNDP: ❝It has been almost three years now since we lost our home, our memories and my children’s first moments. Every day I wake up thinking it is a dream, but it is not. It is no longer my home.❞
Resmas’ parents have no steady income. It has been difficult for the family to cover their basic living costs, especially now that they also have to pay for the house they are renting.
❝Our rent was covered by UNDP support for two years,❞ said Afnan. ❝Now we need NIS700 [US$190] every month to cover our rent. This has been going on since June 2016 when the funding stopped,❞ she added.
❝I am aware of the political situation and delays in funding, but it is becoming much more difficult to meet the needs of my children and my family. We did not get a grant to reconstruct our home, even though my husband’s family did. So, we are here with no cash assistance or hope to rebuild our home.
❝I do not envy anyone, but I am jealous of families like my husband’s who have the opportunity to go back to their homes.
❝I know one thing: unless my home is rebuilt, I am just counting the days with no purpose. I really miss my home!❞
Restrictions on the import of goods, including basic construction materials, imposed by Israel as part of its blockade, have complicated, delayed and, in some cases prevented reconstruction and repair of destroyed or severely damaged homes.
In other cases, where goods are available, families lack the financial resources to purchase them due to the poor economic situation in Gaza caused largely by the years-long blockade.