A group of UK-funded NHS surgeons has just returned from treating war-wounded patients in Gaza, 6 months after the temporary ceasefire was agreed.
The volunteer doctors have visited the region regularly for the past 6 months to carry out surgery on patients with severe injuries and train doctors in Gaza hospitals to improve their surgical capacity.
The team were deployed by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), working with the NGO Ideals, with £724,000 in funding from the Department for International Development (DFID). The funding is part of DFID’s £37 million package of assistance in response to the 2014 Gaza crisis.
Justine Greening, International Development Secretary, said:
Six months on from the temporary ceasefire the situation in Gaza remains dire. Around 108,000 people were left homeless by the conflict and over 11,000 Palestinians were injured.
The vital work of these British surgeons is an important part of the UK effort to help the people of Gaza rebuild their lives. However none of the underlying causes of the conflict have yet been addressed. The UK is playing its part to help those caught up in the conflict, but it is clear the need for a political solution for Gaza is more urgent than ever.
Six months on from the recent conflict in Gaza, the UK is continuing to provide humanitarian support to those affected, including the hundreds of thousands left homeless or without access to water.
The UK was one of the biggest donors to Gaza last summer, providing more than £17 million in emergency assistance to deliver lifesaving food, clean water, shelter and medical assistance to tens of thousands of people affected by the fighting.
In October, the UK announced a further £20 million at the Gaza Reconstruction Conference in Cairo to help with early recovery assistance. This support includes reconstructive surgery for those injured in the conflict, rental assistance for those whose homes were destroyed, the disposal of unexploded ordnance and rubble clearance programmes.
Find out more: case study - Restoring hope in Gaza