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Source: International Organization for Migration
30 January 2009

IOM Appeal for Gaza Focuses on Health and Recovery

Gaza - IOM is appealing for USD 3.8 million for programmes aimed at supporting the rapid recovery of victims of the conflict in Gaza.

The appeal, part of the UN Flash Appeal for Gaza, is for three programmes focusing on health and the rehabilitation of homes in North Gaza, the area most affected by the incursions of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

With more than 5,300 people injured during the Israeli operation, funding will allow IOM, in cooperation with various partners, to evacuate up to 50 people without adequate medical treatment in Gaza to third countries where they will receive the required help. It will also establish mechanisms to activate this kind of evacuation assistance quickly during crisis situations.

Assistance will also be provided to patients already evacuated abroad and whose treatment has been completed, to return home with accompanying family members, 500 in all. Funding permitted, returning patients will be assisted with medical follow-up, including psychosocial support in addition to reintegration assistance such as shelter and non-food items.

In coordination with the World Health Organization and the Palestinian Ministry of Health, IOM intends to help rehabilitate health care facilities and distribute medical equipment in order to ensure support for those with ongoing health needs. A special emphasis will be put on strengthening life-saving emergency health service provisions.

To help address psychosocial issues, IOM will support 15 existing community and psychosocial centres through their refurbishment and re-equipping, especially in areas with high numbers of displaced people and returnees. An estimated 15,000 people including displaced families will ultimately benefit from enhanced services in the centres.

A rapid psychosocial needs assessment will also be designed and carried out with partner organizations while training modules will be provided for staff in the centres to enhance their skills in psychosocial response and those of public health care workers in understanding the mental health consequences of conflict.

With 21,000 homes in Gaza destroyed or badly damaged – about 13 per cent of the total housing stock – early recovery will be dependent on providing homes for the homeless and re-establishing basic services such as water and sanitation and getting businesses up and running again.

To support the immediate reconstruction process, IOM will support the construction sector by reactivating workshops that produce construction materials or provide services. The Organization will also assist local craftsmen to access finance to resume their livelihood and will provide sustainable income-generating opportunities to households by distributing materials and tools and rehabilitating business premises.

The UN Flash Appeal for Gaza is seeking USD 613 million to help 1.4 million people with emergency assistance and early recovery needs.

For further information, please contact:

Mike Pillinger
IOM Geneva
Tel.: + 41 22 717 9239

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