Hand in Hand for Aid and Development's Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza.

In the wake of a severe humanitarian crisis, the efforts of Hand in Hand for Aid and Development have become a beacon of hope for the people of Gaza. Working in partnership with the Egyptian Food Bank in Cairo,  a testament to the power of collective action and international cooperation in addressing urgent humanitarian needs.

The situation on the ground is dire: with over 1.7 million individuals, approximately 80% of the Gaza Strip’s population displaced, the call for aid cannot be overstated. HIHFAD and Egyptian Food Bank has become a hub of hope, where humanitarian assistance is prepared with diligence and care, ready to make the critical journey through the Rafah crossing to those who wait with bated breath for relief.

The pressing need for food in Gaza underscores the severity of the crisis. With widespread displacement, many families face challenges in accessing nutritious food, leading to an increased risk of malnutrition, particularly among children and the elderly. The provision of food aid, including essential staples, is a crucial pillar of support for these families, playing a vital role in maintaining health and resilience in such tough times.

The hardships are further compounded by the winter season. Essentials such as warm clothing, blankets, and heating equipment become vital in these colder months. At the same time, the healthcare system, already under immense pressure from the crisis, grapples with a significant lack of medical supplies and facilities.

But the spirit of humanity and generosity is ever-present in this mission. Each donation contributes towards healthcare, food, and essential warmth for the people of Gaza, making a significant difference in their lives.

Since 2020, HIHFAD has been actively engaged in Gaza, distributing essential items such as medical supplies, fuel, food baskets, and clean water. This assistance is vital in sustaining lives and providing some respite in the face of overwhelming adversity.

The journey towards recovery and stability is long, and the needs of the people are extensive. Each act of compassion and every contribution brings us a step closer to healing and rebuilding. Your support can profoundly transform lives and bring indispensable hope and relief to the people of Gaza.

Your donation, whether for lifesaving healthcare interventions or basic necessities, can be a lifeline for those most vulnerable in this crisis. 

We urge you to donate now, to be part of a collective effort that extends beyond borders, offering hope and tangible support to those who need it most.

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The Urgent Humanitarian Crisis: Combating Malnutrition in North West Syria 

Over the past twelve years, the Syrian conflict has inflicted profound humanitarian suffering, with food insecurity emerging as the most pressing issue. In northwestern Syria, approximately 3.3 million civilians are grappling with starvation and deprivation, demanding immediate and extensive efforts to address this dire crisis. This blog sheds light on the escalating malnutrition crisis and the remarkable interventions undertaken to save lives in the face of overwhelming challenges. 

The Escalating Malnutrition Crisis: 

The 2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) paints a grim picture, revealing a stark increase in People in Need (PIN) numbers across various malnutrition parameters starting in 2020. Chronic malnutrition has risen by 4%, Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) cases by 29%, and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) cases by a staggering 44.7%. The situation is dire for Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLWs), with approximately 265,000 urgently requiring malnutrition treatment. Alarming data from the latest SMART survey exposes the suffering of 220,000 children under the age of five in northwestern Syria, battling severe wasting—a condition with life-threatening consequences. Even more concerning is the projection that 50,000 children will face severe wasting in 2023, risking their lives, especially when compounded by medical complications like cholera.  

The earthquake in February 2023 compounded the suffering in northern Syria and southern Turkey, resulting in extensive property and infrastructure damage. The subsequent proliferation of makeshift camps added to the hardships of camp residents who lost homes, possessions, and sources of income. These informal camps lack essential services and amenities, including healthcare facilities, exposing the population to health risks and diseases. The absence of healthcare facilities and the presence of pollution contribute to an increase in malnutrition among children. 

Saad’s Struggle: A Glimpse into Malnutrition Realities: 

Saad’s story portrays the harsh reality faced by countless children in northwestern Syria. Displaced from the southern countryside of Aleppo to the Deir Hassan camps in the northern countryside of Idlib, Saad confronts severe malnutrition amidst daunting living conditions. His family resides in a small tent, reliant on humanitarian aid to survive. This story represents one of many and is shared by many displaced individuals in camps across the region, where monthly aid falls short for larger families. Limited job opportunities and a significant population density increase further exacerbate their hardship, particularly for families led by women or children under 18 following the loss of the primary breadwinner. 

 Saad’s story is just one among thousands of children in northwestern Syria battling malnutrition, their lives hanging in the balance. Their stories serve as a reminder of the dire circumstances faced by displaced children and families in Syria.  

Hand in Hand for Aid and Development’s Response:   

Rapid Response Teams (RRT) at Hand in Hand for Aid and Development, supported by Japan Platform, are at the forefront of efforts to combat malnutrition. These teams track malnutrition cases, provide education, awareness sessions, and offer vital support to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and children under the age of 2 years old. Those facing severe acute malnutrition are referred to specialized hospitals. In the face of daunting challenges, these interventions offer hope and a lifeline to those most vulnerable. 

A Beacon of Hope: Hassan’s Recovery: 

Hassan Al-Khalif, a displaced child residing in the Bardakli camps, embodies resilience and hope amidst adversity. He successfully recovered from malnutrition and his health improved thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Rapid Response Team. The Hand in Hand for Aid and Development RRT team administered vital nutritional supplements and provided vital guidance and awareness to Hassan’s mother. Hassan’s case is just one story of the thousands of individuals being assisted by this Nutrition Project. Thanks to the support of our partners this project aims to support 20,328 pregnant and breastfeeding women alongside 43,560 children under the age of five in northwest Syria.  

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A Lifeline of Hope: Clean Water in Syria

Clean water is often taken for granted, yet it stands as the elixir of life, an inalienable human right, and a cornerstone for thriving communities. Beyond basic hydration, clean water catalyses empowerment and resilience within communities, creating a ripple effect of positive change. In this blog, we delve into the story of Hand in Hand for Aid and Development’s clean water initiatives in North West Syria.

Clean water is a fundamental need that transcends basic hydration. It plays a pivotal role in transforming communities, touching every facet of life. Each drop of clean water sets off a chain reaction, generating transformative effects that extend far beyond its source.

Throughout the months of June and July 2023, Hand in Hand for Aid and Development diligently extended its efforts to provide clean water to a population exceeding 40,000 individuals in North West Syria. An ongoing heatwave had a considerable impact on the region, making the provision of clean water even more critical. However, despite these significant endeavours, the imperative for clean water remains acute, encompassing over 40 camps that are currently in dire need of access to clean water.

Imagine life without clean water for drinking or essential medical purposes – a stark reality for thousands of families residing in camps in northwest Syria. Their survival hinges on water supply from tanks, highlighting the critical need for accessible clean water.

Uncle Hassan’s Story:

“We can’t comprehend how we continue to live under these challenging conditions,” expressed Uncle Hassan, a seventy-year-old man, reflecting on his situation and the hardships he endures alongside his elderly wife. Their journey of displacement began four years ago, leaving their village called Maarat al-Sayyid in the southern Idlib countryside of northwestern Syria. They traversed several villages and towns in the Idlib countryside in search of security and stability, which millions of Syrians have been deprived of for the past eleven years, ever since the war began.

Uncle Hassan continues, “Every humanitarian service offered to us alleviates a portion of the burdens that were once heavy on our daily lives. We hope that anyone who witnesses our struggles, now that we’re in the 21st century, an era marked by civilisations and progress, will not forget us and contribute to easing the weight of life’s hardships for these families who were displaced by the scourge of war.”

In response to this urgent crisis, Hand in Hand for Aid and Development launched an ongoing £1 water appeal. A single pound can provide a family with 1000 litres of clean water, a small contribution that can be the difference between life and death.

Hand in Hand for Aid and Development is unswervingly committed to turning the tide against this water crisis. Through innovative solutions and unwavering dedication, we are driving change across Syria. The transformation of lives is evident as we witness communities thriving under our interventions.

Clean water is a right that should know no boundaries. As we traverse the landscapes of Syria, we witness both the challenges and the triumphs, underscoring the essential need for clean water. Our journey continues, fuelled by your support. Together, let’s create a world where clean water isn’t just a dream but a reality that fosters hope, health, and thriving communities.