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Christian Aid sends emergency funds to protect familes in the Middle East from bitter winter

20 January 2015 - The most violent winter storm for two decades swept across conflict-affected areas of the Middle East last week bringing heavy snow, rainfall, high winds and freezing temperatures. 

Christian Aid has sent emergency funds to provide sheeting and blankets for 6,000 people living in temporary accommodation in Gaza, and stoves and fuel for 4,600 people in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

Euan Crawshaw, Christian Aid’s Regional Emergency Manager for the Middle East said: “The current situation remains precarious for the displaced populations, particularly given the extremely poor conditions in which they already live.

“With the threat of further severe winter weather in the coming weeks, Christian Aid is delivering vital assistance through local partners on the ground in Gaza and Lebanon.We have worked as fast as possible to distribute blankets, plastic sheeting, stoves and fuel to more than ten thousand people.”

Humanitarian needs across the region remain unprecedented, with more than 1.3 million refugees from the Syrian conflict in Lebanon, and more than 100,000 people still displaced in Gaza after last year’s Israeli offensive.

The sudden onset of extreme winter conditions has left displaced families in desperate need of basic assistance, with the Palestinian authorities declaring a state of emergency over the storm.

Christian Aid and its partners are continuing to provide immediate lifesaving support for the most vulnerable by purchasing local winter supplies and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Please visit the Christian Aid website for more information about our Syria and Gaza appeals.

If you would like further information or to arrange an interview please contact Jo Rogers jrogers@christian-aid.org 020 7523 2460 or 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950  

Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk

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