Gaza: Coronavirus

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 14th September 2020.

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Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian situation in Gaza in relation to recent locally-transmitted cases of covid-19.

Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the capacity of the health system in Gaza to cope with the recent increase in locally-transmitted covid-19 cases.

Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to support the covid-19 response in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK Government remains deeply concerned by the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), which has now reached over 30,000 (as of 6 September). The capacity of the Palestinian health system, especially in Gaza, to cope with the increase in COVID-19 cases has been severely impaired by longstanding Israeli movement and access restrictions and shortages in specialised staff, drugs and equipment.

The UK's recent £840,000 funding contribution has enabled the World Health Organization (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 Foreign Secretary also recently announced a further £2.7 million funding to UN agencies to provide food assistance, medical supplies and personal protection for the most vulnerable Palestinians.

In addition to our commitment to funding, our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem frequently urge the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to take steps to improve conditions in Gaza.

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