Gaza: Palestine Red Crescent Society in urgent need of funds to face worsening humanitarian crisis

Published: 15 January 2009 0:00 CET

As fighting intensifies and Israeli armed forces push further into Gaza, the grave humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. Medicines and medical supplies are urgently needed as well as fuel to bring vital assistance to thousands of Palestinians wounded, trapped in combat zones or displaced by the fighting.

Working in desperately difficult and dangerous conditions, the PRCS has mobilized 200 volunteers, 60 medics and 120 medical staff to provide emergency care in Gaza since the beginning of the hostilities.

In order to face rapidly escalating needs, the Palestine Red Crescent has issued a preliminary emergency appeal for 6.8 million US$ (7.6 million Swiss francs / 5.1 million Euros) to cover the costs of medicines and disposable items, relief goods, personnel, fuel, communication and running costs.

On the other side of Gaza’s southern border, Egyptian Red Crescent Society (ERCS) teams have transported more than 100 injured people from Gaza to medical facilities and treatment in Egypt, in close coordination with the Egyptian authorities, the IFRC and the ICRC. They have also been facilitating the entry of hundreds of metric tonnes of relief goods and medical items into Gaza.

In addition, the ERCS is stocking emergency goods in anticipation of a possible massive influx of people from Gaza, seeking shelter, care, assistance and psychological support. To support the ERCS, the International Federation has released 350,000 Swiss francs (310,000 US$/230,000 Euros) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund.

According to the PRCS, at least 980 people have died in Gaza since hostilities began on 27 December, some 290 of them children. In addition, some 4,418 people have been wounded - more than 37% of whom are children.