Cordaid is supporting Caritas Jerusalem’s emergency response in Gaza. Our contribution allows Caritas mobile medical teams to provide health services across the Strip, in the aftermath of 11 days of Israeli airstrikes in May. “One cannot not stand with the people in Gaza,” says Judith Manni, Cordaid’s humanitarian aid coordinator.
Caritas Jerusalem’s emergency response includes training five mobile medical teams. Each team consists of two doctors (male and female), two nurses, a pharmacist, a lab technician, and a health coordinator. They will reach out to wounded and traumatised people in Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia, Al Shijaea, Al Bureij refugee camp, and Beach Camp.
“Healthcare providers in Gaza, such as the Caritas mobile medical teams, need all the support they can get. Especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic is putting extra pressure on them.”
Judith Manni, humanitarian aid coordinator
The mobile teams will provide comprehensive health services, wound care, and trauma management. They will also combat the dissemination of COVID-19.
Caritas Jerusalem has been on the ground for years in Gaza. They had to close down their main clinic, near Shati refugee camp, during the May war on Gaza. But immediately after there was a cease-fire they re-opened.
This emergency response is an additional effort to improve the health status of 2 million people who have been living under constant threat and attack for decades.
The right to live in dignity
“Cordaid’s humanitarian actions are always based on humanitarian principles. These prompt us to support Caritas Jerusalem’s emergency response”, says Judith Manni. “Gaza is a small of strip land just 41 km long. It is almost completely cut off by the Israeli blockade and was bombed continuously for 11 days. Nobody could escape as nobody could cross the Gaza borders. This happened while people are still trying to recover from previous massive airstrikes. These attacks are ruthless and merciless towards the entire population. Including women, children, and elderly people. They also destroy residential areas and public services such as schools, health centers, and water infrastructure. Each time Gazans try to recover and rebuild, new escalations throw them back.”
This Caritas Jerusalem video gives an impression of the recent destruction in Gaza:
Our teams in #Jerusalem @CaritasJLM are serving communities in Gaza, bringing #hope to those facing bereavement, physical injuries, psychological trauma and long-term rebuilding of homes and infrastructure.
— Caritas (@iamCARITAS) May 28, 2021
“We need to support Gaza and those that reach out to them, like Caritas Jerusalem. People have a right to live in dignity, to have access to healthcare and other services. Health care services in Gaza, such as the Caritas mobile medical teams, need all the support they can get. Especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic is putting extra pressure on healthcare providers”, Manni concludes.
14 years of isolation
Since 2007 Israel imposes a land, sea, and air blockade on Gaza. 14 years of isolation and warfare have brutally crippled Gaza. They have severely undermined people’s health as well as the medical services that can improve people’s health.
The economic crisis in Gaza is acute. Unemployment rates are above 50%. 53% of the population lives below the poverty line. Infrastructure collapse and environmental degradation have led to severe water shortages, pollution, sewage overflows, and crippling power cuts.
The May war on Gaza killed 253 people, including 66 children. It injured 1.948 persons and displaced 77.000.