GAZA – As new cases of positive COVID-19 are found each day in Gaza, the overall situation continues to worsen. In addition to the ongoing land, air, and sea blockade that has been imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than 13 years, fighting and treating COVID has become an impossible task for the health care system there that is limited by ongoing and pre-existing shortages in health-care equipment, including medications and disposable equipment, which leaves residents in Gaza devastated.
Yet, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem does not abandon its parishioners. Throughout the years, several projects were implemented that aimed at lending a helping hand to the most vulnerable Christians and Muslims. “Food security, nutrition and hygiene support in Gaza Strip” is the name of the latest project implemented by Manos Unidas, that aimed to address food security, nutrition, and hygiene through an integrated package.
Conducted by priests and staff of the Holy Family parish, 200 Christian families received coupons and 200 Muslim families received food parcels distributed twice in the months of July and August 2020.
The 400 selected families were blessed to enjoy the success of this project, as it secured their basic needs of food and nutrition, as the coupons were given to be spent on basic errands, from one chosen supermarket, that has meat and vegetables, and basic supplies. Therefore, not only the 400 families benefited from this project, but also the local market was supported through purchasing food and other materials.
After the worsening of the economical situation due to the COVID-19 imposed lockdown – where many lost their jobs, and others received a small percentage of their salaries – the families found these parcels and coupons as a gift and blessing from God. Families expressed their gratitude and appreciation for such initiative and valued the donations as they allow them to survive the hardship of the pandemic, and to continue taking care of their children and elderly.
Knowing that the church is thinking of its parishioners and the residents of Gaza, it sends a message of hope to all the faithful and shows that despite the hardships, faith travels to serve the needy, as Jesus Christ did.