Christian Aid helps Middle East families to face bitter winter

By agency reporter
January 21, 2015

The most violent winter storm for two decades swept across conflict-affected areas of the Middle East last week bringing heavy snow, rainfall, high winds and freezing temperatures.

UK-based churches' global development agency Christian Aid has sent emergency funds to provide sheeting and blankets for 6,000 people living in temporary accommodation in Gaza, and stoves and fuel for 4,600 people in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

Euan Crawshaw, Christian Aid’s Regional Emergency Manager for the Middle East commented: “The current situation remains precarious for the displaced populations, particularly given the extremely poor conditions in which they already live.

“With the threat of further severe winter weather in the coming weeks, Christian Aid is delivering vital assistance through local partners on the ground in Gaza and Lebanon. We have worked as fast as possible to distribute blankets, plastic sheeting, stoves and fuel to more than ten thousand people.”

Humanitarian needs across the region remain unprecedented, with more than 1.3 million refugees from the Syrian conflict in Lebanon, and more than 100,000 people still displaced in Gaza after last year’s Israeli offensive.

The sudden onset of extreme winter conditions has left displaced families in desperate need of basic assistance, with the Palestinian authorities declaring a state of emergency over the storm.

Christian Aid and its partners are continuing to provide immediate lifesaving support for the most vulnerable by purchasing local winter supplies and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

* Christian Aid: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/

* More Middle East news and analysis from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/MiddleEast

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