Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta

Humanitarian aid for Gaza victims

17/08/2014

The Order of Malta’s hospital in Bethlehem sends essential medicines to the general hospital on the Gaza Strip

The recent conflict in Gaza has been devastating in terms of 2000 lives lost, 9500 wounded and almost a quarter of the population displaced. All the infrastructure (electricity, access to water, transport, health and schools) has been seriously damaged. A great number of hospitals and health centres – destroyed or damaged by the fighting – are only partially functioning.

The Sovereign Order of Malta hopes that the present ceasefire can mean the end of the armed conflict in the Gaza Strip and that humanitarian aid can be distributed to the more vulnerable population groups.

The few hospitals still functioning in Gaza are overcrowded and cannot cope with the thousands of wounded without outside assistance. The worsening of the humanitarian situation has prompted the Order of Malta’s Holy Family hospital in Bethlehem to organize support for the Al–Shifa general hospital in Gaza and several pallets of medicines and equipment were sent last weekend.

At the request of the Ministry of Health, the medical staff of the Bethlehem Hospital are ready to leave for Gaza on a voluntary basis should the situation worsen. The Order of Malta’s hospital in Bethlehem is preparing to accept the sick and wounded should they be moved from Gaza to hospitals in the West Bank.

Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s international relief agency, is investigating the possibility of distributing aid to Gaza through its Turkish partner the International Blue Crescent and through a group of former employees. Malteser International is also seeing whether refugees and displaced persons in the region can be assisted through the Sovereign Order of Malta’s international network and its structures.