The winter storm that battered the region in early January brought several dozen centimetres of snow, gale-force winds and torrential rain. According to media reports, the freezing storm led to at least five deaths in Gaza and 11 in Syria. For Palestine refugees, the past few weeks have certainly not been a walk in a winter wonderland. In parts of Syria, temperatures dipped to -11°C. For those living in inadequate shelters, this has meant that children in particular are made especially vulnerable to respiratory tract infections and similar illnesses. The consequences of the winter storm have been far reaching, even leading to house fires that have claimed lives, including that of four-month-old Siraj in the Tulkarm refugee camp in the northern West Bank.
How did you respond?
With remarkable generosity! The response from individual donors like you was heart-warming. To date, we've raised US$ 111,669.
How did we together make a difference?
In addition to providing winterization items, including heaters, blankets, tarpaulin, raincoats and fuel, here are some specific examples of how your kind donation has made a difference:
• In Jordan, all 3,591 Palestine refugee families from Syria were provided winterization cash assistance in December.
• In Gaza, the West Bank and Syria, we provided Palestine refugees whose homes are uninhabitable with alternate housing. We provided them with blankets, heaters, tarps and raincoats to keep warm during the storm. We also extended this support to Palestine refugees displaced from war-tom Syria to Lebanon and Jordan.
• In Gaza, health promotion sessions were reinforced due to the stormy weather - a total of 40 awareness raising sessions were held and over 1,500 displaced people were trained on protecting themselves from flu and other common winter illnesses. The sessions focused particularly on the elderly, children and pregnant women.
• In Syria, 1,775 mattresses and 41,133 blankets were distributed in November to displaced refugees through collective shelters and distribution points. UNRWA started its winterization campaign in Syria by distributing mattresses and blankets through distribution centres in Damascus and Sweida in addition to the collective shelters.
• All Palestine refugees from Syria who are currently living more than 500 metres above sea level in Lebanon, including the Beqaa region, received assistance through UNRWA ATM cards and in cooperation with our partners to provide fuel for five months, the replacement of winterization goods and winter clothing for children. In addition, we provided fuel for schools in the Beqaa. Other organizations providing winterization assistance to families of Palestine refugees from Syria are coordinating their efforts with UNRWA.
In Gaza, funding for alternative shelters for the homeless runs out at the end of January, click here to read more! Our utmost priority is to provide Palestine refugees in Gaza with alternative shelter as they are still reeling from the effects of winter storm Huda.
Please donate today.