Gaza: emergency aid for persons with disabilities

  • distribution of cold weather equipment

Cold weather equipment included in emergency kits

Handicap International has been able to deliver emergency kits to Gaza. Mobile teams began distributing the kits on the 28th of January. The teams and partners in the Gaza Strip are intensifying their efforts day after day, despite continuing tensions in the region.

“Despite the ceasefire, shots are still fired everyday,” explains Violaine Gagnet, Handicap International's head of mission who spent several days in the Gaza Strip. “The population is still extremely anxious and worried about the possibility of renewed hostilities. Despite this, our teams and our partners are highly motivated and determined.” Half of the emergency kits supplied by Handicap International have already been distributed.

The selection is based on an initial evaluation of the needs of families before a return visit is made the same day to the offer the most vulnerable care adapted to their situation. The distribution of additional blankets and mattresses for families hosting people who have lost their homes has also begun. Handicap International will include cooking kits in its emergency kits after evaluations revealed that many families no longer had even basic cooking equipment. For extra protection against the cold, additional plastic sheets will be added, along with gloves and hats. Most inhabitants have electricity for less than eight hours a day in houses and apartments that are not adapted to winter conditions.

Assistance in hospitals

Preparations for “Disability and Vulnerability Focal Points” are continuing in collaboration with our partner associations, with the aim of enabling injured people and those in disabling or vulnerable situations (such as pregnant women and the elderly) to access specific humanitarian aid. This is a necessity in a situation in which the most vulnerable sometimes find it difficult to access suitable assistance. Handicap International will also provide assistance to hospitals in Gaza, helping to register patients and train staff in providing follow-up care to the injured to limit the causes of disability, but also by supplying the staff needed to care for them directly.