How you can support Gaza during the global COVID-19 pandemic


Photo: UNRWA


As a global pandemic spreads across the globe, cities have shut down and people are filled with uncertainty and fear. The World Health Organization reported more than 266,000 confirmed cases and 11,184 deaths as of March 21, 2020.


While the overwhelming majority of the world was unprepared for this crisis, the impact of the virus in Gaza would be catastrophic due to a 13 year imposed blockade, three devastating attacks in 2008, 2012, and 2014 by Israel, and one of the most densely populated areas in the world. 


The first two cases of the Coronavirus were just reported, and these organizations are working to provide medical supplies in Gaza need your immediate help.


UNRWA 


The United Nations Relief and Workers Agency for Palestinian Refugees, an official UN agency whose mandate is to protect the 5.6 million Palsetinian refugees, experienced significant cuts in funding last year by the US administration.


UNRWA launched a flash appeal to cover the Agency’s immediate needs for the next three months. As outlined in the report, UNRWA runs 141 primary health centers in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Funds raised will be used to (1) strengthen hygiene and cleaning practices at centers, (2) cover the health care needs of at-risk populations, including hospitalization costs, (3) ensure continuity of sanitation, waste management, and food distribution in Gaza, and (4) provide educational programs at UNRWA schools. 


A supporter in Egypt has committed to match all donations up to $60,000, so your donation will be doubled. Donate here: https://donate.unrwa.org/covid-19/~my-donation



MECA


The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is a U.S. based nonprofit, with a strong medical presence in Gaza led by Dr. Mona El-Farra. MECA is raising funds to purchase and deliver basic hygiene supplies, antibiotics, medication, and other routine and emergency medical care for tens of thousands of patients in Gaza.


According to their website, their plan to combat the Coronavirus includes three components: (1)  protect people from Coronavirus with prevention supplies and information (2) prepare to treat people who may become infected (3) provide care and medicine for everyone with life-threatening illnesses


MECA is looking to raise the needed funds by March 29 to make sure that they are able to get the needed supplies into Gaza from a pharmaceutical company in Egypt. Donate here: https://www.mecaforpeace.org/emergency-medical-aid-for-gaza-you-can-help/



MAP 


Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is a UK-based medical NGO created in 1982 to help Palestinian refugees. Today MAP has offices in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, Lebanon and London. They work closely with communities, hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers to coordinate care and medical aid for Palestinians. 


According to their website, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is sending hygiene kits to locations that have been designated to receive people returning to Gaza for quarantine. In response to an urgent call for support from the Ministry of Health, MAP is providing 200 hygiene kits worth US$50 each that can be utilised for around 800-1200 people. One hundred kits are being sent to the quarantine centres and the remainder will go to the Ministry of Health for immediate release if the numbers increase. 

If numbers do increase, the Ministry of Health’s supply of hygiene kits will need to be replenished and MAP stands ready to respond. You can support MAP’s efforts to combat COVID-19 here: https://www.map.org.uk/donate/donation-details/197.  




 During a time of crisis, it is important that we each do our part to support one another, particularly the most vulnerable populations. If there are other organizations you know of doing impactful work, leave a comment below.