Humanitarian Health Action

Italy provides 750 000 Euros for WHO emergency activities in Gaza

Media statement
20 January 2009

WHO/P. Garwood
WHO officer Michel Tomaszek greets Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini at the Karem Shalom border crossing in Israel where Italy donated 40 tons of humanitarian relief supplies for the Gaza Strip.

KAREM SHALOM ¦ The Government of Italy has given 750 000 Euros to the World Health Organization to support its emergency health operations in the Gaza Strip and on Tuesday also provided medicines, food and other supplies for Gazan humanitarian relief services.

“Italy’s support to WHO’s operations in the occupied Palestinian territory is playing a vital role in helping provide health care to thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” said Mr Tony Laurance, WHO’s head of office for the occupied Palestinian territory, including Gaza and the West Bank.

The 750 000 Euros in flexible funding is a contribution to WHO's Emergency Operational Plan for the Gaza Strip. The overall plan aims to address the most urgent needs in the health sector and ensure appropriate access to health services for the entire Gaza Strip population.

Tuesday's supplies, which were expected to pass into Gaza through the Karem Shalom crossing, are valued at US$ 200 000 and comprise 40 tonnes of medicines and health-related equipment, basic food stuff and an electrical generator for use in hospitals and shelters that are being supported by WHO, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the World Food Programme. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini was on hand to officially handover the supplies to the UN agencies at Karem Shalom.

During the recent Gaza crisis, WHO has been delivering medicines to health authorities there and is coordinating the Health Cluster, in support of the Palestinian Ministry of Health, to strengthen and streamline health interventions of multiple UN and non-governmental organization partners.

For further information contact:

Paul Garwood
Communications Officer
Health Action in Crises
WHO, Geneva
Mobile: +41 7974 555 46

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