Palestinians: Coronavirus

Department for International Development written question – answered on 14th May 2020.

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Photo of The Marquess of Lothian The Marquess of Lothian Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assistance they have provided to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza to assist with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular in regard to living conditions, COVID-19 testing and the provision of healthcare; and what discussions they have had with the government of Israel about ensuring that Gaza is able to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State, The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The UK has pledged £744 million to support the global humanitarian response to COVID-19. We have delivered additional vital support in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by providing £840,000 to WHO 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. The UK is engaging with the Israeli Government on the COVID-19 response, including the response in Gaza. I most recently discussed the situation with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK at the end of April.

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