An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story
Ghada Abu Al Rus is a 46-year-old Palestinian, who raises eight of her children in a small house in Deir Al Balah, the Gaza Strip. When her husband died in 2016, the burden of providing for her big family fell entirely on her. But in Gaza, longstanding restrictions, including the Israeli blockade, have left almost half of the potential work force unemployed. As a single mother, who had not been able to complete her education, her chances of finding a job were slim.
Consequently, the family has had to rely mainly on humanitarian assistance provided by the local government or by charities. While such assistance has helped the family afford food and other basic products, it was not enough for them to improve their living conditions. Until recently, they did not have any chairs or tables in their tin-roofed house, and not everyone had their own bed. They did have some mattresses, but these were not enough for all of them to sleep comfortably, let alone to have Ghada’s married daughter stay over when she would visit. “I used to be so embarrassed when she’d come,” Ghada recalled.
On January 2020, with funding received through the Humanitarian Fund for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt HF), Ghada and her children were among 400 families, all of them headed by women, who got assistance from SIF to improve their housing conditions in Gaza. About 100 of these households had their home roofs, doors, windows or water infrastructure fixed. The remaining 300, including Ghada’s family, were provided with cash assistance to buy furniture and other items. Families also got backup power banks to help them cope with Gaza’s hours-long daily blackouts.
Through this project, Ghada received US$300. While this is a small amount, Ghada managed to make the most out of it: she bought four mattresses, one plastic mat, a gas cooker, a food blender, and six plastic chairs and small tables.