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28 May 2006

Emergency medical assistance from Switzerland for the occupied Palestinian Territory

SDC is sending two experts for an on-the-spot evaluation of the public health sector and is releasing an initial one million CHF for the purchase of medicines.

In the light of the extremely precarious situation that currently prevails in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and faced with the danger of a collapse of the public health sector, SDC Humanitarian Aid has decided to allocate one million CHF in aid and to send experts to conduct an on-the-spot evaluation. This assistance is intended mainly for patients with chronic, life-threatening ailments.

Two experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) - one doctor and one logistician - left this Sunday to carry out a week-long mission in Gaza and the Westbank in order to identify the most urgent requirements in the public health sector and to put in place a system for distributing medicines in the OPT hospitals.

Moreover, the sum of one million CHF has been made available with immediate effect to finance the purchase of medicines needed by the most seriously ill patients in 22 hospitals throughout the OPT. The funds will be used to pay suppliers direct. This material will be allocated and distributed in close cooperation with the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations which have yet to be specified.

Contact for further information: Jean-Philippe Jutzi, SDC Spokesman,
Tel. 031 324 91 68 or 079 292 08 49; e-mail

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