More than a month after the agreement of a cease-fire in Gaza, time seems to stand still for many Gazans, with no clear signal of when houses will be rebuilt and other essential aspects of recovery from the recent conflict proceed. With a donor conference to discuss reconstruction and recovery scheduled for October 12th ordinary citizens still, get by day-to-day, either living in shelters, with friends and relatives, or even in the ruins of their damaged or destroyed homes. Clearly, no news is bad news for the over 100,000 people remaining displaced in the aftermath of the conflict.
In August, Internews worked with local radio partners to launch ‘Jossor ma’ Gaza’ (‘Bridges with Gaza’) which provides citizens with “news-you-can-use,” vital information on humanitarian services, aid distribution and future plans. In consultation with the population through the Jossor Network of journalists in Gaza and the West Bank, the service seeks out information demanded by the population regarding the many areas of their lives disrupted by war and conflict – among them the housing reconstruction plans, job creation programmes and interim financial support. It also solicits feedback on programmes through field interviews, SMS, social media, audience research and audience call-ins.
“The worst part for people is not knowing what comes next, what they may expect in terms of resuming their lives and stabilising their families. Housing is the critical piece in providing this foundation for a population having been shaken to the core by violence, insecurity and the devastation of having been displaced from their homes and communities,” shared Marisa Consolata Kemper, Senior Humanitarian Liaison with the Jossor team. “The partnership between the Humanitarian Liaison Team and the Jossor ma’Gaza production newsdesk brings planners from the government, humanitarian organiscopations and United Nations to shed some light on what to expect in the upcoming period, the process that will determine actions on the ground, and timelines for the reconstruction.”
The Gaza Humanitarian Information Service project is being funded through the UK Department for International Development’s Rapid Response Facility, of which Internews Europe is a member. The RRF is a network of pre-approved specialist aid organisations and private businesses who can rapidly deliver emergency medical, water and sanitation assistance to affected people.