Oxfam and EU work together to find new ways to fight poverty in Gaza

Three of Abeer Al-Sawi’s children stand outside their home in Gaza
Three of Abeer Al-Sawi’s children stand outside their home in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Gaza, ready to go to their afternoon-shift school. Photo: Sami Alhaw/Oxfam

A new Oxfam project, funded by the by EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid “ECHO”, will help 9000 of Gaza’s most vulnerable people to address the acute humanitarian needs that are the consequences of violations of International Humanitarian Law and human rights in the Gaza Strip.

The project, Strength Humanitarian and Protection Assistance for Vulnerable Populations in the Gaza Strip, will address the needs of female-headed households and large families who do not have regular incomes through advocacy, humanitarian interventions, providing clean water to prevent disease and food to combat food-insecurity.

Oxfam Country Director Chris Eijkemans said that after a ten-year Israeli-imposed land, air and sea blockade on Gaza that has trapped almost two million people from the outside world, the project is critical to ensure the survival of some of the poorest families in Gaza.

“Oxfam's strategy aims to ensure that poor, vulnerable, and marginalized Palestinians are protected and better able to exercise their rights and, most importantly, women can have better control over their resources”, said Mr. Eijkemans.

Oxfam has partnered with over 50 Palestinian, Israeli, and international organizations to deliver on its objectives.

It will build on Oxfam's previous experience delivering quality community-based interventions and supporting local partnerships and agencies. The nine-month project has been designed to build on other interventions in the food security and WASH sectors over three years to better address humanitarian needs.

It will implement more sustainable WASH and food security assistance activities; improving both the quality and capacity of private water vendors so more people can access safe drinking water and better hygiene practices. It will improve the local partners’ ability to prepare for future emergencies and help protect women against gender-based violence.

Mr. Eijkemans said the enormous humanitarian needs in Gaza meant that 80 percent of the entire population relies on humanitarian aid to survive.

”In Gaza people struggle to access clean water, food, medical care, education or even to rebuild their homes after the last war. This project will see 5591 people receive clean water, and 3335 fresh food vouchers. Another 25 partners’ staff will receive training in emergency preparedness and response.

“All of this will remain critical while the blockade remains in place, which forces two million of Palestinians in Gaza to continue to live in poverty.”