Coordinating with our partners in the region, we have regularly provided medical aid and humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza and the West Bank to address chronic shortages and limited health care resources. AmeriCares aid is distributed to health and social service institutions that include specialized hospitals and health campaigns focusing on diabetes, hypertension, nutrition, psychosocial assistance, maternal and child health as well primary care clinics, schools and community programs.
Snapshot of Gaza and the West Bank:
Gaza and the West Bank are home to one of history's longest-running and most intractable humanitarian crises. Violence and isolation have devastated the fragile economy and social service systems, forcing nearly 50% of the population into poverty and dependence on the United Nations and other agencies for food and basic commodities. Decreasing levels of international funding of humanitarian efforts has placed a massive strain on the already under-resourced non-governmental organization health care sector. Critical health issues:
- Significant shortages of drugs, medical supplies and hospital beds
- Increasing rates of non-communicable disease such as diabetes and hypertension—heart and cerebrovascular disease among leading causes of death
- Breast and lung cancer are also critical issues
- Chronic malnutrition (stunting) among children under 5 rose from 7.4% to 10.2% between 1996 and 2006
Since 1993, AmeriCares has been working with American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), a non-governmental apolitical organization with five field offices including one in Jerusalem, three in the West Bank and one in Gaza. In addition to educational, community and economic development initiatives, ANERA works with more than 80 health care institutions in Gaza and the West Bank, ranging from primary care clinics to hospitals. AmeriCares helps these institutions care for patients by providing general hospital supplies, medicines, nutritional supplements and hygiene items. ANERA estimates that 250,000 people in Gaza and the West Bank directly benefit from their health and social service programs.
Despite stringent security measures that complicate the importing of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian territories, particularly Gaza, AmeriCares regularly delivers the equivalent of twelve 20-foot sea containers of medical assistance to those in need every year.* Our partner, ANERA, plays a vital role in navigating the customs clearance process and and making the safe and accountable distribution of these critically-needed medicines and supplies possible.
* AmeriCares observes the United States Bureau of Industry and Security regulations for exports and the State Department regulations regarding beneficiaries of assistance.
Medical Outreach Program
We have provided donations of medicines to volunteer physicians traveling to Gaza & the West Bank from the U.S. through our Medical Outreach Program.
Recent News from Gaza and the West Bank
AmeriCares Gaza delivery of more than $2.6 million in lifesaving humanitarian medical aid to our partner, ANERA, has arrived safely in Gaza. Local hospitals and health care clinics are receiving the current shipment of medical aid, including antibiotics, surgical supplies, pain medicines, and other emergency supplies.
AmeriCares delivery of more than $1.4 million in lifesaving aid has been approved by the Israeli government for delivery to Gaza.
As violence escalates in Gaza, AmeriCares is taking urgent action to ensure the delivery of more than $1.4 million in lifesaving medical aid arrives safely to help people in need. AmeriCares is providing shipments of medicines and medical supplies for families trapped by ongoing violence in Gaza.