Islamic Relief has helped schoolchildren facing with fierce winter conditions – including heavy snow, torrential rain and flooding – in rural Tunisia.

Hundreds of blankets have been given out.

Snow, plummeting temperatures and floods caused by heavy rain have recently hit parts of Tunisia. Particularly affected is the Jendouba governorate in the country’s northwest, where families fled homes close to rivers and flood-prone areas as water levels in the Medjerda cannel and Bouhertma dam rose to dangerous levels.

Floodwaters forced some residents to take refuge on the roofs of their homes, and when the nearby river overflowed, several families were cut off by the deluge. Over 250 houses have been affected by flooding.

At least three people have died. Electricity and water supplies were disrupted and roads and schools closed, forcing children forced to stay home and miss out on their education.

Heaters now warm sleeping quarters at three rural boarding schools.

“Islamic Relief, in coordination with the Ministry of Education and local authorities, intervened to help some rural children continue with their education despite the challenging weather,” said Islamic Relief Tunisia’s Ghassen Alimi, thanking Islamic Relief Canada for funding the intervention.

“We have provided 512 blankets and ten air heaters to three boarding schools in rural villages of Jendouba. They are keeping a total of 512 schoolchildren warm in their school dormitories.

“Much more is needed to help children in rural areas – according to the latest figures, more than 15,000 pupils have been affected by this natural disaster.”

Islamic Relief began working in Tunisia in 2011, providing lifesaving emergency aid as well as development projects to support vulnerable people.