After a harrowing winter experience last year, Shatha’s comments are anything but hyperbolic. They are rooted in a legitimate, deep-seated fear of re-witnessing her mattresses, carpets, and bed covers destroyed due to overflooding. She is extremely worried about her 6 family members including sick elderly and school-age children lacking the proper warmth to sleep through 90 nights of bitter cold. Shatha is the sole provider for her family: “I am responsible for providing everything for my family, including food, rent, and medicine.”
Unfortunately, Shatha’s plight runs parallel to that of thousands of refugee and internally displaced families across Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. For many, this will be their 12th consecutive winter being stuck in displacement, while facing other hardships with regards to food insecurity, rising living costs, and joblessness stemming in part from the COVID-19 pandemic. To address this calamity, UNHCR has initiated a series of programmes as part of its winter assistance plan. The plan mostly consists of distributing seasonal cash assistance that would allow for families to acquire essential winter items such as heaters, fuel, and winter clothes. Other programmes include shelter weatherproofing and distribution of winter core relief items.
Thanks to the generosity of donors such as yourself, Zakat and Sadaqah received by UNHCR through the Refugee Zakat Fund during the first half of 2022 helped to aid 153,194 refugees living in Jordan, including during the previous winter season. You may wish to dedicate part of your year-end Zakat or Sadaqah to assist the most vulnerable refugees and internally displaced families before the onset of winter, including female-headed households such as Shatha and her family. Your support will go a long way in ensuring they don’t face another grim winter season.