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Caritas provides health care in Palestine
Caritas responds to the emergency needs of the people of Palestine– regardless of their race or religion. Caritas Jerusalem, Caritas Jordan and Caritas Syria were formed in 1967 to help both internal and external refugees trying to escape conflict. Caritas continues to believe in peace and justice and to hope for a better future.
Caritas runs a medical centre and a mobile health clinic in Gaza and has trained a network of 180 community health agents.

Gaza is a particular priority for Caritas as it is so very poor. Half the population is under 18 and unemployment stands at 30 percent. In times of particular crisis, Caritas distributes clean drinking water, milk formula, food and blankets. Trauma and grief counseling is provided, as is financial support for people whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed.


Palestine Red Crescent Society

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), officially founded in December 1968, is a national humanitarian organization. Since its establishment, it caters to the health and welfare of the Palestinian people and others in need in the OPT and the Diaspora. It has 4,200 employees in oPt (West Bank and Gaza Strip), Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iraq in addition to its volunteer network of more than 20,000 people.

PRCS History

PRCS strives to ease human suffering through its Emergency Medical Services (EMS), preventive and curative health care services, rehabilitation, volunteer activities, and programs promoting social and cultural development, with a focus on the most vulnerable members of the society. PRCS also focuses on the dissemination of the humanitarian values, the fundamental principles of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, in addition to International Humanitarian Law.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society was mandated in 1969 to provide humanitarian, health, cultural and social services when and where needed to the Palestinian population. Following the 1993 Oslo peace accord and the formal establishment of a Ministry of Health (MOH) by the Palestinian Authority (PA), PRCS, in 1996 and 1999, was mandated by the Palestinian Authority to provide National Ambulance and Blood Transfusion and Pre-Hospital Emergency Services in oPt and Health Service in the Diaspora. The PRCS assumed the role of a complementary body to the public authorities, targeting the needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups within the Palestinian population. The PRCS has become one of the main non-profit providers of medical and social welfare services in the oPt. Despite the many obstacles and difficulties, the PRCS persists in providing humanitarian services and support to its people, through its branches in Palestine, as well as in Arab countries where Palestinians reside in large numbers.

The PRCS is a full member of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and therefore adheres to the Movement’s basic principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

The deteriorating humanitarian situation in oPt and Diaspora, coupled with the continued financial crisis, internal strife and recurrent Israeli military incursions into the oPt, put more strain on the National Society’s ability to provide essential services to the population as a result of increased numbers of people requiring emergency care in hospitals and health centre’s.

The Palestine Red Crescent is one of the largest and most reliable provider of health care and social services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is also the only provider of secondary health care services to the Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora ( Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iraq) . Due to the financial crisis in oPt and serious lack of job opportunities for Palestinians in Lebanon, there are very few options for the Palestine Red Crescent to generate income from its programs and services. This leaves it vulnerable and dependent on external funding. With years of deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions, and with periods where the authorities could not provide health care and social services, the importance of the Palestine Red Crescent has increased.

PRCS’ Operational update 4-5 August 2014

PRCS increased its readiness to respond to the needs of Palestinians affected by Israeli attacks in various areas in the oPt. Below are the PRCS interventions during the reporting period.

General Situation in the Gaza Strip
• An Egyptian proposal for a 72-hour cease-fire, accepted by Israel and Palestinian factions, entered into force yesterday (5/8/2014) at 08:00. Israeli forces withdrew from the Gaza Strip.

• Over 85 per cent of Palestinian fatalities since the start of the Israeli attack are believed to be civilians (excluding those whose bodies could not be identified or their status determined); child fatalities exceeded 400.

• Nearly 30% of Gaza’s population has been displaced, including about 65,000 people whose homes have been destroyed or damaged beyond repair and have nowhere to return. The immediate health needs of the displaced remain a high priority.

• There is a need for a follow up at community level of all injured who were discharged from hospitals. High numbers of patients are seeking care at hospitals for acute, non-trauma related reasons.
(Sources: OCHA)

PRCS’ Interventions:
I- The Gaza Strip
PRCS’ programs, hospitals, clinics, staff and volunteers are working in the field to provide emergency medical and relief services to the wounded and to affected populations following these Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip.

PRCS’ teams provided First Aid services and transfer more than 38 wounded Palestinians to hospitals in the last two days. The Society also evacuated the bodies of 21 persons from various areas in the Gaza Strip, and recovered 18 bodies from Khuzaaha and Rafah.

The PRCS Al Quds Hospital and Al Amal Hospital in Khan Younis have received many of the casualties and provided the necessary medical attention to them. Around 6052 persons were treated in the PRCS hospitals since the start of the attack on the Strip.

The PRCS primary health care team started visiting the shelter centers in Gaza city. During the reporting period, they dealt with 518 cases.

As for the PRCS psychosocial support, since 15/7/2014 and of course due to the continuous shelling that impedes movement of the team from one area to another, each psychologist in this team has started working in hisher own residential area. They work in 4 UNRWA schools and 4 government schools sheltering displaced in Jabaliya and Gaza city. In addition, they are working with the displaced who take shelter in some public buildings in Khan Younis, Beit Lahia, Jabaliya and Gaza.

The total number of beneficiaries is 5430 distributed according to age as follows:
1. Below 18 years old: 1015 F and 805 M
2.Above 18 years old: 2079 F and 1531 M
Total figure includes also PRCS staff and volunteers who are performing their humanitarian duty in the field.

Moreover, the PRCS has provided relief assistance to 8018 families since the start of the Israeli attack on the Strip. The distribution took place in UNRWA and government schools in Gaza city, northern Gaza, Khan Younis, Deir Al Balah, and Rafah. The items distributed are blankets, mattresses, hygiene kits, kitchen kits, water and some clothes.

II- The West Bank
No interventions reported during the last two days.

Risks and attacks on the PRCS medical mission:

No incidents reported.

Humanitarian Aid:

• A consignment of drugs and medical supplies donated by the Venezuelan Embassy in Cairo will be distributed to the hospitals in the Gaza Strip.

• A consignment of drugs and medical supplies donated by the local community in Taybet Al Muthalath (Palestinian town in Israel) to the PRCS hospitals.


Al Awda Hospital

Al Awda hospital is the largest facility of the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) established in 1992 and inaugurated in April 1997 with a 53 bed capacity and community contributions of more than 75% of the construction cost, which constitutes a source of pride for every Palestinian.


UHWC is a nongovernmental grass rooted organization that provides comprehensive health services through a developmental community and social framework to all sectors of the Palestinian people especially the marginalized ones (women and children). The UHWC also contributes in related public and sectarian policies to achieve a comprehensive health system based on the international human rights constitutions. The UHWC provides its services through its primary and secondary health care centres in Gaza Strip.

Union of Health Work Committees is a Palestinian non governmental health organization, established in 1985 by a group of volunteers who were working at Palestinian healthcare and community service centers.
UHWC goals are to improve the heath situation for the Palestinian people especially the marginalized ones (women and children) by providing primary and secondary health services in addition to th...e cultural services, though UHWC’s Centers.

To contribute in improving the health status of the Palestinian individuals and groups and to decrease morbidity and mortality rates aiming to actualize the concept “Comprehensive Health Development Approach”.

Overall Goal:
To contribute in improving the health status of the Palestinian individuals and groups and to decrease morbidity and mortality rates aiming to actualize the concept “Comprehensive Health Development Approach”.