1. Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children
ASDC is a local Non-governmental organization, established in 1992 in Gaza City, in order to enable persons with the disability in the Gaza Strip to have their chance in life through education, rehabilitation, and job training and employment opportunities. From its establishment as a small school for persons with hearing disabilities serving 27 students, ASDC now serves more than 40,000 persons annually through a multitude of services and training programs implemented within an inclusive approach. These interventions aim at providing equal opportunities for persons with hearing disabilities in society.
On the 10th of May, Israeli assaults against the Gaza Strip induce a catastrophic humanitarian situation in the lives of the people living in Gaza, where up to the reporting date the 16th of May at 6:00 pm, more than 188 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, 47% (55 children, 33 women) of them are women and children, more than 1230 were injured. Thousands of Palestinians have had to leave their homes in Gaza due to the ongoing airstrikes targeting their homes which were completely, partially damaged, or their houses at risky areas with a potential to be targeted by bombardment. The displaced Palestinians sought shelters in schools, mosques, or at other places.
Due to the shutdown of Gaza’s sole power plant as the result of the lack of fuel duplicated the negative consequences for the provision of vital service. Besides the current aggression against the people living in Gaza, the humanitarian situation is already deteriorated due to COVID 19 pandemic’s restrictions and the Gaza imposed siege. The recent escalation doubles the people’s suffering more and more.
This report is a rapid assessment of the community urgent needs as a result of the deterioration of the security, safety, health, and humanitarian situation. This report is part of the ASDC’s tools and mechanisms for identifying and prioritizing the community needs of the families with persons with and without disabilities, where those families are the neediest among the community, and the disability decreases their access to the basic needs and put them at higher risks of vulnerability during these difficult situations. This report raises the impact of the political escalation on the life of families of people with disabilities and highlights their priorities to achieve efficient intervention which helps in alleviating their suffering.
4. Methodology and Sampling
In order to better understand how the conflict has affected the lives of families of persons with disabilities in Gaza, ASDC and MEAL Staff conducted a survey for 102 families of the ASDC beneficiaries which include families of the (ASDC and Kindergartens students, children with hearing disabilities, vocational training beneficiaries, and the ASDC employees with and without disabilities).
This assessment was collected by the online survey via phone by the social specialists and data collectors for the families with and without disabilities. The survey was conducted between the period 15th -16th May – 2021, where 102 (46 male, 56 Female) persons with and without disabilities (84.3% with disabilities, 15.7% without disabilities) responded to the survey. This assessment covers the Gaza city area. The assessment targeted the persons with different disabilities (Hearing, physical, visual, and others) focusing on the person who disabilities.
4% of the interviewed families reported that one or more of their families were injured during the ongoing Israeli airstrikes.
37.2% of the families forced to leave their houses due to the ongoing Israeli aggression as their houses were damaged or their houses located at the risks and potential to be attached by the airstrike, as 38.2% of the interviewed families reported their houses were slightly damaged, while 8% of reported that their houses were severely damaged.
18.6% of the families reported that they couldn’t move/ access to get their basic needs due to security and safety issues.
6. Need and Priorities
Being forced to leave their houses seeking shelters or hosting other families require urgent interventions that respond to the needs and priorities expressed by the families. It is highly recommended that all responses should be inclusive to meet the needs of persons with and without disabilities, children and adults, females and males.
Nutrition and food assistance is the First Priority of the interviewed families where they are unable to afford the basic needs of nutrition and food for their children. They reported that they are highly in need of food assistance.
Hygiene kits are the Second Priority of the interviewed families as they reported that their needs for hygiene kits (that includes dignity kits for women and girls) were increased during the ongoing escalation and they couldn’t afford the needs of hygiene kits.
Hearing aids and assistive devices are the other Second Priority of the interviewed families, where they couldn’t have the access /get the needs of hearing aids, batteries, or other assistive devices during the ongoing escalation.
Guidance and PSS supports is the Fourth Priority of the interviewed families where they are in high needs of guidance and the psychosocial support where the fair, distress, and trauma are increased on both the children and the adults due to the explosions, airstrike, pumps, the live/ media views of the killed persons.
Access to health services and medical tools is the Fifth priority of the interviewed families where they don’t have access to medical clinics or health facilities as the medical clinics are closed for urgent cases only. In addition to that many of the families couldn’t move out of their houses due to security issues.
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