November 2011

Emergency Bethlehem: not only economic aid for the Christians in need

The precarious economic and political situation in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories means that residents face numerous difficulties, ranging from unemployment to the lack of a welfare system that takes care of people in need.

ATS pro Terra Sancta, through its support of the Franciscan Social Service Office (FSSO) of the Custody of the Holy Land in Bethlehem, is aiding the most serious cases, providing not only financial assistance and support to families, but also assisting them to find employment.

This was the case for H., whose story is told below:

H. is 41 years old and has three children. She lives alone, having been abandoned by her husband.

The FSSO provides assistance, not only economic but also social through its contacts with various institutions. Unemployment is one of the most serious problems in Bethlehem: 23 per cent of the Christian community in Bethlehem is unemployed, while 65 per cent of employment takes places in the informal economy where there are no social protections.

H., with the help of the FSSO, was able to find employment as a nurse, a profession for which she has a diploma, and now is in a position to support her family with dignity. 

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