Emergency Food & Non-Food Assistance in Gaza

Photo by Mohamed Reefi for CRS

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“This voucher has changed my life. I’m so happy.”


Randa Abu Mustafa and her family live in one of the poorest areas of Khan Younis governorate in the Gaza Strip. Their home is just one small room with a bathroom they have to share with other relatives in the building. Randa’s husband is mentally ill, so she takes on the responsibility of raising their five children. The family has no source of income.

Gaza family

Randa and three of her children with items they bought through the  e-voucher program. Photo by Mohamed Reefi for CRS

“We used to wait for days until we got something to eat,” Randa says. “We had to ask for food from my neighbors to feed my children, otherwise we would be on our own.”

In August 2018, with a generous donation from the Archdiocese of Frieberg, Caritas Australia, Caritas Germany, and Schmidt Foundation, CRS and local partner Bayader for Environment and Development started providing food and other household items to vulnerable people in south Gaza through e-vouchers. CRS selected 760 families to receive the vouchers.

The e-voucher program gives households the opportunity to purchase items from nearby stores approved by CRS and enables them to choose the items that best meet their needs.

Randa was able to buy many basic food items in addition to diapers for her baby.

“The best thing in this program is that you gave us the freedom to buy what we need, whenever we want,” Randa says. “I bought shampoo, so my children will be clean.”

One of her children once asked her, “Mom, why couldn’t we have food like this before?” That can be a tough question for a mother to answer, but at least now she knows her children can enjoy a trip to the store.

“This voucher has changed my life. I’m so happy. Now, I can cook for my children after long days of starving.”