Posted on 29 June 2020

Helping Palestinians buy healthy food

An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story

Most Palestinian households in Gaza cannot afford to buy sufficient amounts of nutritious food. Intisar’s family from the village of Az Zawayda is one of them. They are two parents and five children who live together in a small room, in a house shared with their extended family, where thirty people are forced to use a single bathroom. Intisar’s husband has a disability and is unable to work. She takes care of him and their children, and thus cannot seek paid work.

In 2019, as part of a project implemented by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and funded through the Humanitarian Fund for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt HF), Intisar’s family was selected to receive emergency assistance for six months.

The project enables families to buy the most-needed food and living supplies. Every month, Instar receives some credit on her electronic voucher card. With this card, she can visit local shops (participating in the project), at her convenience, and is able to select from over 24,000 food and non-food items.

 “Finally, we could eat real food!” With the help Intisar received, she could start providing her family with varied, healthy food. Photo by Mohamed Reefi for CRS

Intisar was feeling desperate before she started getting this aid. “We used to eat only some bread and tea,” she recalls. “When we had some vegetables, I cooked for the children and kept some for the following day.”

This situation changed when the news came that her family had been selected to receive assistance. “I was very happy ... I realized that, finally, we could eat real food!” she said. Her children were also grateful; Hanadi, her 14-year-old daughter, said: “I used to go to school without a sandwich, and watch the other children eating, but with this assistance, I can take a sandwich and eat like the other children.”