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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
30 November 2008



Health Action in Crises: Highlights No. 236 – 24 - 30 November 2008

Each week, the World Health Organization Department for Health Action in Crises in Geneva produces information highlights on the health aspects of selected humanitarian crises. Drawing on the various WHO programmes, contributions cover activities from field and country offices and the support provided by WHO regional offices and Headquarters. The mandate of the WHO Departments specifically concerned with Emergency and Humanitarian Action in Crises is to increase the effectiveness of the WHO contribution to crisis preparedness and response, transition and recovery. This note, which is not exhaustive, is designed for internal use and does not reflect any official position of the WHO Secretariat.


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OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY

Assessments and Events

• The crisis is impacting on all aspects of people’s life, including health care. Growing difficulties for the MoH and its partners in ensuring the provision of and access to quality health services have increased the need for humanitarian assistance in health.
• In Gaza, lack of petrol for generators and power plants is causing a daily 8-hour power cut. For now, all MoH hospitals, except Beit Hanun hospital, are functioning thanks to generators.
• Lack of fuel is also affecting water pumps. The Coastal Municipal Water Utility reports that the populations of Gaza City and North-Gaza have access to water four hours per week and that there is a severe shortage in chlorine. This is raising concerns about the safety of drinking water.
• Further, shortages of drugs and consumables are of concern.

Actions
• In Gaza, WHO continues to monitor the availability of fuel in MoH hospitals and to support the transport of medicines and supplies.
• WHO participates in regular meetings with partners in Gaza and Jerusalem, providing updates on the impact of the closure on the provision of health services, access to treatment abroad and the shortages of medicines and consumables.
• WHO also briefed a World Bank mission on the impact of scarce and poor quality drinking water and sporadic waste water management on public health.
• In the West Bank, WHO continues to disseminate the health facilities questionnaire.
• In the CAP 2009, WHO is requesting US$ 4.1 million to advocate for access to health, strengthen and coordinate emergency preparedness and response, monitor health and nutritional needs and procure pharmaceuticals for the MoH stock in Gaza.
• WHO’s emergency activities are funded by ECHO, Italy, Norway, and OCHA-Spain.

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