The British Government is to commit an extra £1.6 million for medical aid to the Gaza Strip, new Middle East Minister Andrew Murrison has said.
Speaking during a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories this week, he said the new money would pay for emergency and trauma care.
In a short video message, he said he was in Gaza “to try to get a sense of the place and the people who live here,” adding that the money would contribute to the World Health Organisation programme to “bring support and help to 380,000 Gazans”.
This follows an announcement in March that the Government would be giving an extra £2 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said the new UK funding would address “urgent gaps in emergency and trauma care,” including by establishing a new limb reconstruction unit.
It said this would “help relieve extreme pressure on Gaza’s health service, which is struggling to cope” with the 28,000 patients in need of trauma care annually.
Murrison said: “The situation in Gaza is unsustainable and the health services are struggling to deliver basic care to those in need of emergency medical attention.”
"I'm delighted to be able to announce £1.6 million of new funding that will help towards emergency and trauma care for the people of Gaza."
— Foreign Office ???????? (@foreignoffice) May 29, 2019
The World Health Organisation said it was also kitting out Gaza’s ambulances with radio and GPS systems to improve their ability to respond to emergencies.
Earlier this year, leading medics warned of an “epidemic” of antibiotic-resistant superbugs now threatening the Strip, after shortages of antibiotics, clean water and power left doctors unable to follow even the most basic medical protocols.
An in-depth analysis by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in January showed how Gaza’s crippled health system had turned it into fertile ground for virulent infections, which could spread over the border into Israel.
Saw the threat that Hamas tunnels and rockets pose to people living in the Gaza periphery. Such violence has to stop. pic.twitter.com/4N7qJ6rakx
— andrew murrison (@AWMurrison) May 29, 2019