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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
8 November 2004



Health Action in Crises (WHO/HAC) Highlights - No 34

The WHO/HQ Department for Health Action in Crises aims to produce a running note on select current issues at weekly intervals. This note - which is by no means exhaustive - is designed for internal use and does not reflect the official position of WHO.

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WEST BANK AND GAZA STRIP

Assessments and events:

On 2 November, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Commissioner-General presented a statement to the UN Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) that highlighted the challenges that UNRWA faces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of violence, curfews disclosures, and financial constraints.

Actions:

WHO and the MoH carried out a Food Safety workshop from 29 October to 3 November in Ramallah. Twenty-three inspectors from the MoH and Ministry of Agriculture were trained on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) as part of a series of activities planned within the Food Safety project. Participants became familiar with modern risk management tools such as the Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) concepts, in line with internationally recognized standards (Codex Alimentarius). A similar training will be conducted for Gaza food inspectors in conjunction with the University of Crete (WHO Collaborating Centre).

WHO visited primary health care services in Khan Younis and Rafah districts (Gaza Strip) as part of the health baseline data collection at district level. Healthinforum and MoH are involved in this joint initiative in an effort to improve the health information system.

WHO met with representatives of the Government of Norway in order to develop a synergy between WHO's nutrition project (aiming to strengthen the nutrition management of the MoH Nutrition Department) and the Norwegian nutrition project implemented through the MoH.

Current WHO humanitarian actions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been made possible by 2004 funding from USAID, AGFUND, and the Government of Norway, as well as pre-2004 funding from ECHO.

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