Struggling to feed the family: Imtithal’s story,Yazan Nesreddin, Executive Director, HCI
Imtithal, aged 50, is a divorced single mother, living in very poor conditions at her parents’ house in Beit Lahiya, North Gaza, and struggling to provide for her six children.
For Imtithal, finding a job is impossible due to her lack of education and formal work experience in an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. She was forced to drop out of school at 11. As a divorced mother, she tries to make ends meet with the help of friends and relatives, and by depending on external assistance. She has enlisted in multiple national social assistance programs. She receives food, cash and medical support and relies on a share of the small income her brother makes as a casual labourer in construction. With the constant deterioration of the already dire living conditions in Gaza, Imtithal can no longer rely on the generosity of friends and relatives.
“I have accumulated too many debts that I need to repay each month. We had to borrow 5,000 New Israeli Shekels (NIS) (1,500 dollars) from relatives to build an extra room to accommodate me and my children. I have 3,000 NIS (850 dollars) of food debts to a few shop-keepers and owe countless shekels to the local electricity and water supply company”.
The lack of electricity has also forced Imtithal to focus on purchasing dry goods instead of dairy products, as she can no longer store food in her refrigerator nor use her makeshift oven. She has resorted to cooking over a fire as gas has become too expensive.
“Every day is worse than the previous one. My brother stopped working and my friends and family can no longer afford to support me. I had no choice but to take on additional loans to avoid my children sleeping on an empty stomach”.
The teams of Aid and Hope Program for Cancer Patient Care had the vital and prominent role of providing humanitarian assistance to this family, Ramadan food basket funded by Human Concern International changed people life.
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