Occupied Palestinian territory | News | Press releases | 2018 | 1.2 million people in the occupied Palestinian territory are in need of humanitarian health assistance

1.2 million people in the occupied Palestinian territory are in need of humanitarian health assistance

Print PDF

pharmacy The Central Drug Store of the Ministry of Health in Gaza is experiencing the worst shortage in essential drugs since 2014. Credit: WHO

WHO and health partners require US$32 million to address acute health needs of the most vulnerable communities in the occupied Palestinian territory. 1.2 million Palestinians are in need of humanitarian assistance. Without funding for interventions, their health will deteriorate.

The Gaza health system is overburdened with an enormous rise in casualties from the Great March of Return demonstrations near the fence with Israel. Since 30th March 2018, over 25,000 Palestinians were injured and over 250 killed. The Central Drug Store of the Ministry of Health in Gaza is experiencing the worst shortage in essential drugs since 2014. Around 52,000 people - half of whom are children - are in need of mental health and psychosocial support as a result of the ongoing tensions in Gaza.

In the West Bank, physical obstacles, the discriminatory zoning regime, long distances to hospitals and a lack of public transportation are all factors that hamper access to healthcare services for Palestinians. Access to specialized care not available in Gaza and the West Bank is compromised by the requirement to obtain Israeli-issued permits to exit.

“WHO and humanitarian health partners are struggling to address essential health needs of people in the occupied Palestinian territory. We are concerned that without support from the international donor community thousands of Palestinians won’t be able to access life-saving services”, said Dr Gerald Rockenschaub, Head of the WHO office for the West Bank and Gaza.

The health plan for 2019 prioritizes assistance for people in need of life-saving interventions whilst building the resilience of the health system to better cope with acute emergency events. This enables WHO and health partners to provide a targeted and focused response.

The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for the occupied Palestinian territory was launched on 17th December 2018. In total, it appeals for US$350 million to provide basic food, protection, health care, shelter, water and sanitation to address the priority needs of the most vulnerable Palestinian communities. 

More information: Humanitarian Response Plan 2019