Humanitarian Health Action

Norway provides medical supplies to WHO response to Gaza crisis

Media statement
4 January 2009

GENEVA/OSLO – The Government of Norway has donated to the World Health Organization medicines and financial support worth approximately US$675 000 to help provide medical care for thousands of Palestinians affected by the Gaza Strip crisis.

Gaza’s latest violence is having major humanitarian consequences, with scores of Palestinians killed and hundreds more wounded in the Israeli military campaign that started 27 December. Already beleaguered health services have been brought to the brink of collapse. Gaza has approximately 2000 hospital beds in 27 hospitals, most of which are government-run. Many hospitals were not fully functional before the current violence due to shortages of drugs, medical supplies, spare parts, electricity and fuel. The ongoing conflict may cause unnecessary mortality and disabilities if these hospitals are not supported or protected.

Norway's donation to WHO, through its Norwegian Emergency Preparedness System (NOREPS: http://www.noreps.com/), comprises:

  • 34 surgical supply kits, which can treat 3400 people suffering from wounds for 10 days
  • nine Interagency Emergency Health Kits, that include basic medical supplies capable of treating 90 000 people for three months.

WHO is sending a separate consignment of 16 surgical supply kits, which comprises medicines and equipment to treat 1600 wounded people for 10 days. WHO received US$ 219 000 from the UN OCHA Humanitarian Emergency Response Fund to purchase these supplies from Norwegian medical supplier MEDECO.

The whole consignment is expected to be sent from Oslo to Tel Aviv and trucked into the Gaza Strip during the week. WHO is negotiating with Israeli and Palestinian authorities to ensure safe passage of the medical supplies.

For further information contact:

Paul Garwood
Communications Officer
Health Action in Crises
WHO, Geneva
Mobile: +41 7974 555 46
Email: garwoodp@who.int

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