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Palestinians: Health Services

Department for International Development written question – answered on 1st May 2020.

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Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of Palestinians' access to healthcare throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories during the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK has pledged £744 million to support the global humanitarian response to COVID-19, including in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We have delivered additional vital support in the OPTs by providing £840,000 to World Health Organisation and UNICEF to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity.

The UN assesses that although the current number of detected cases remains relatively low, the capacity of the Palestinian health system to cope with an expected increase in COVID-19 cases is poor. The situation is particularly severe in Gaza, where the health system has shortages in specialised staff, drugs and equipment. We continue to monitor the situation and are working closely with the UN and the international community to ensure a co-ordinated response.

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