Improving people’s living conditions in war-torn Gaza | United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - occupied Palestinian territory
Ali and his five children (on the right) while being interviewed by a member of the project team.

Improving people’s living conditions in war-torn Gaza

An occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund Success Story

Located in a refugee camp, Lina and Ali’s home is basic, but it provides them, their children and Ali’s sick mother, with the essential privacy and weather protection that everyone should have. It was not always like that.*

For many years, Palestinians in Gaza have been virtually isolated from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory and exposed to recurrent escalations of hostilities. As a result, many of them have not been able to work, and more than one in every two residents is now poor.

As Palestine refugees, whose families originate from areas that are now part of Israel, Lina and Ali are eligible to humanitarian assistance from the UN. But they have refused to solely rely on such support, and along the years, Ali has seized every opportunity to work and provide for the family

Ali and his five children (on the right) while being interviewed by a member of the project team
Ali and his five children (on the right) while being interviewed by a member of the project team

But 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 isolation against extreme weather conditions. “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 made things even worse. 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 sustained deep cracks.

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 can fix the damage and upgrade the house, and gave them some items that they needed. With this support, they rehabilitated two rooms and upgraded their kitchen and bathroom, equipping them with basic facilities, including a water tank. They also fixed the ceiling and the windows to protect the family from bad weather and to secure some privacy.

The support was part of a larger project. Overall, assistance was provided to over 200 households across Gaza. These families received cash to rehabilitate and upgrade their homes, and beds, cleaning kits or other items were also provided as need.

“My dream was to have a home where we can be protected and live our lives with dignity,” Lina concluded. “We made it come true.”

* All names have been changed to respect people’s privacy.