The Gaza Strip, an area of 140 square miles is already densely populated with over 2 million inhabitants. The Israeli blockade, in effect since 2007, has led to insufferable conditions for the Palestinian people. Electricity is only available in rotating cycles of 2 hours/day. More than 20% of households have no access to gas. Access to basic human necessities like food and water is at a minimum. Such conditions present a constant threat to the health and well-being of Gazan children.
Over 70% of Palestinians in Gaza rely on humanitarian aid, and the most vulnerable are the children. The UN found in 2012 that if nothing were done to ease the blockade on Gaza, life there would become unlivable by 2020.
Thanks to our partner, Salaam Nutritionals, we included Vitamin A for an entire year in our Winter Bundles. Vitamin A is critically important for a healthy immune system to fight infections, prevent blindness, and to protect the organs against dehydration due to diarrhea. This is especially significant for malnourished children living in inhumane conditions, such as those in Gaza.
Additionally, winter clothing items such as jackets, jeans, wool thermals, socks, and shoes were produced from local Gazan factories. Jackets protect against the cold wind and rains, while proper foot protection keeps children safer during deteriorated ground conditions brought on by winter storms. Jeans and underclothes provide an essential level of comfort and warmth during this challenging time. Each layer adds to the protection of these vulnerable children.
A total of 2,864 winter bundles were distributed amongst the following refugee camps: Rafah Camp, Khan Younis, Deir El-Balah, Maghazi, Al Bureij, Al Nuselrat, Jabalia, and Beach Camp.
We run this fundraiser on an annual basis, expanding the distribution of these essential winter materials to many more children each year. This year marks our first Vitamin A efforts as well. Vitamin A protects children from potentially life-threatening and chronic illnesses such as blindness. It is also vital for their continuing health and immunity while growing up.
The resources provided in our Winter Bundles are made from durable materials, allowing them to be used for many winters. Your ongoing support encourages children that there is hope for a brighter future. We thank you for being a central part of PaliRoots greater mission, helping to promote the well being of Palestinians and others worldwide.