RAMALLAH, Thursday, June 03, 2021 (WAFA) – The World Health Organization is scaling up its response to provide health aid for almost 200,000 people in need across the occupied Palestinian territories as the ceasefire holds.
WHO has said in a statement that so far it provided essential medicines to support trauma care and ambulance services for more than 2,000 injured beneficiaries in the Gaza Strip, and ten triage and treatment tents by WHO have been set up outside six Ministry of Health emergency departments, also in the Gaza Strip.
“The situation is volatile. WHO remains concerned about the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and calls for unhindered access for humanitarian and development-related essential supplies and staff into Gaza and referral of patients out of Gaza whenever needed”, said Dr Rik Peeperkorn, Head of Office WHO the occupied Palestinian territories.
With COVID-19 still a persistent threat, WHO and UNICEF, through COVAX, have supported the delivery of more than 260,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the occupied Palestinian territories – including 60,000 doses delivered Wednesday -- and WHO provided essential medicines and consumables to East Jerusalem.
As of 31 May 2021, 337,191 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,765 deaths have been reported in the occupied Palestinian territories, with positive cases increasing in Gaza in recent weeks.
Earlier “armed conflict” in the occupied Palestinian territories sparked further population displacement and exacerbated a prolonged humanitarian crisis. Hostilities resulted in a loss of 278 Palestinian lives and over 9,000 injuries.
Over 77,000 people were internally displaced and around 30 health facilities have been damaged. Around 600 referral health facilities were affected due to closure of the crossings during the escalation of hostilities.
On 20 May, WHO launched the appeal for US$ 7 million to support its health operations over the next six months, focusing on trauma and emergency care; mental health and psychosocial services; advocacy; and maintaining essential health services including COVID-19. To date, 2.3 million USD has been received from 7.0 million needed for a 6-month period.
“Palestinians’ lives are deteriorating; many of the people affected by the conflict are in urgent need of aid and face other health threats like COVID-19. WHO is working to support the Palestinian health system and its partners in its emergency humanitarian response and calls for the support of the international community in these efforts”, said Rik Peeperkorn, Head of Office WHO the occupied Palestinian territories.