Poverty Makes Winter Worse for Mervat Alhawy’s Family

Mervat Alhawy has not bought new clothes for her children for five years. During winter, they are worried because they don’t have proper winter clothing.

Mervat Alhway at her home in the Deir Al Balah, Gaza. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, DEIR AL BALAH - Mervat Alhawy locked the door to the only room in her house. She and her children then covered the gaping windows with a nylon sheet. This is the only thing Mervat and her family do to protect them from the chilly winter wind. Mervat and her children had only two blankets to warm them during the freezing days.

Mervat Alhawy is one of the underprivileged families in Gaza. Poverty has made her unable to pay for adequate housing. Even for her daily meals, she relies on the help that is often provided by those who are better off. In her kitchen, only one stove was burning. There was only one plate and four spoons, and the only pot she used for cooking.

“By Allah, I am ashamed to ask for help, but I want to make changes for my family. We hope that there are good people who can help rebuild our house,” said Mervat when the Aksi Cepat Tanggap partners visited her in late October 2020. She hoped for a house renovation of the house where she has lived for 13 years.

Based on UNDP’s report, at least 28,366 houses were damaged in five governorates in Gaza in the 2014 Israeli attack.

In July 2014, the Israeli military bombarded Gaza's land, sea and air. Many losses were incurred. An estimated 2,100 people died, including 5,821 children; One in four Gazans had to evacuate; More than 60,000 residences in Gaza were partially damaged; public facilities in Gaza were not functioning, leading to a water, food, and even energy crisis. Agriculture, industry, and sales plummeted. []