men and women affected by the recent war in
International's Palestinian partner, the National Agency for Family Care (NAFC),
has been providing food and psychosocial support to older people in Ezbet
Abed Rabo, northern Gaza, with funding from Help the Aged raised
through the UK Disasters Emergency Committee.
war in December and January left more than 1,300 people dead, 3,500
injured and 100,000 people displaced. Health facilities, infrastructure
and farmland were damaged and services were disrupted, exacerbating
already difficult conditions arising from years of sustained conflict and
needs assessment carried out by NAFC highlighted older people's sense of
isolation, as well as their need for immediate relief and support to
generate an income. NAFC organised food deliveries to 50 displaced older
men and women in Ezbet Abed Rabo, and arranged recreational visits to an
agricultural area and the sea.
than one in five of the older people had lost husbands, wives, children or
grandchildren. Their homes and livelihoods had been destroyed in the war
and they could not afford essentials such as food, clothes, medicine or
82, was one of those who took part in the outings. Her home of thirty
years was destroyed in the conflict. Her son's house was also destroyed
and one of her grandchildren died. She now lives in rented accommodation
some distance away.
sons leave me at home alone," she said. "When they go on a trip
with their wives, they don't ask me to come. I had never been to the sea
before! The only happy things after the war have been the trips with NAFC."
work with NAFC was part of HelpAge International's first programme in
International plans to continue working with NAFC to set up community
groups led by older men, who traditionally have a leadership role.
these groups, NAFC will provide livelihoods support, home-based care and
psychosocial support to older men and women, including training younger
people as volunteers. HelpAge International will also help NAFC and
medical relief agency, Merlin, to mainstream older
people in their work.