Please act on this appeal from an impartial humane source. Remind your MPs and MEPs:
The situation in Gaza has reached its lowest ebb outside of periods of military attack and should now be considered a humanitarian emergency.
Over the past 10 years, Gaza has suffered a decline of living standards since Israel imposed a blockade and closure in 2007. This is now severely exacerbated by electricity shortages, with daily blackouts of 18-20 hours and many homes receiving just two hours of mains electricity per day.
The International Committee of the Red Cross recently warned of the impending “systemic collapse” of Gaza’s infrastructure and economy and of a looming “public health and environmental crisis”. Gaza’s medical system is heavily impacted. Electricity shortages have meant significant reductions in vital hospital services, including sterilisation and cleaning. Infection rates are soaring. Diagnostic services are limited to when mains electricity is available, and voltage fluctuations have damaged sensitive medical equipment such as MRI machines.
Medical supplies are depleted. In July, the Ministry of Health in Gaza reported that 40% of essential medicines and 34% of medical disposables were at ‘zero stock’ (meaning that less than a month’s supply is available) including half of all cancer drugs. Despite the increased need, patients encounter unprecedented barriers to accessing life-saving treatment outside Gaza.
In 2012, the UN warned that Gaza could be unliveable by 2020. For patients now unable to access the care they need inside or get out for treatment elsewhere, Gaza is already unliveable.
Aimee Shalan, CEO of MAP said: “Gaza is experiencing a humanitarian emergency, but when bombs are not falling, the international community pays little attention. Without immediate humanitarian aid and concerted political and diplomatic efforts to end the blockade, the result will be the same: avoidable loss of life and the further collapse of a health sector which is already struggling to provide the barest minimum of care.”