The hidden maternal mental health crisis in Gaza

For most pregnant women, the months in the lead-up to their baby’s birth is a time of great excitement and anticipation. But
for Mervat, 25, who was heavily pregnant during the devastating bombardment of Gaza in May this year, fear of losing her unborn baby made what should have been a very happy time deeply traumatic instead. Mervat was terrified during the airstrikes.

Mervat’s fears were not unfounded: her own cousin suffered a miscarriage during the airstrikes. “She lost her baby due to the severe fear of the bombing and shelling,” she says. Thankfully, Mervat has since safely given birth to a healthy daughter. But the toll on her mental health, and that of many other pregnant women and new mothers in Gaza, has been severe.

ActionAid is working to improve the lives of women and children around the world – from providing counselling in humanitarian crisis to pregnant women like Mervat, to supporting children to recover from the trauma of the conflict they have witnessed. Your support will help those hardest hit by crisis.  

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€25 could help provide dignity kits (containing sanitary pads and soap) to girls in the aftermath of an emergency.

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€60 could provide one child with the supplies they need to return to school after an emergency hits.

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€100 could help provide a woman or child suffering the effects of conflict with counselling.

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“Some women were unable to breastfeed their babies, hug them or even accept them because they came during difficult circumstances. Those women were experiencing unexpected psychological grief and pain” Helana – Psychologist at the Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza.

To read more about ActionAid’s humanitarian response, and some of our work this year, please download the latest issue of ActionTimes here.

Help us support women and children in emergencies

Women are at the forefront of our emergency preparedness work – whether in healthcare settings in Gaza or village centres in Nepal. Although women are often most vulnerable in a crisis, they are also the most knowledgeable and determined to support their communities. In Gaza, ActionAid has been working with women like Helana (pictured), a psychologist in the local hospital providing counselling to women in the aftermath of the trauma they experienced.

When the latest crisis hit earlier this year, our long-standing presence in the community meant that we were able to spring into action quickly and effectively providing shelters, safe spaces, and access to healthcare and counselling services. With your support, ActionAid can continue to ensure that women on the front line of our humanitarian response, who have all the skills and commitment they need, also have the resources to match.

Please, make a donation today.

How your donation will be used

From creating safe spaces for women and children in conflicts to making sure women are part of essential crisis-response decision-making, your support could transform entire communities and save lives.

If you would like to make a monthly donation click here.

*Your donation will fund ActionAid’s work with women and girls wherever the need is greatest.

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