Belgium sends 1m euro medical aid package to Gaza
Belgium has prepared a humanitarian aid package of medicines and medical supplies for the people of Gaza. The supplies will be delivered via the border crossing with Egypt in cooperation with humanitarian partners on the ground, Development minister Caroline Gennez announced on Monday.
"In the heavily besieged northern Gaza Strip, only one out of 24 hospitals is functioning," Gennez said. "There are hardly any medicines left. Countless doctors, nurses and other aid workers are injured, missing or dead. The lack of fuel and electricity means that surgeons are forced to operate by the light of their mobile phones or torches."
The Federal Public Service (FPS) Health has put together a humanitarian package of medicines and medical equipment worth around 1 million euros. It must first be approved by Egypt, which could take several days. It will then be flown from Ostend to El Arish on a European humanitarian flight and taken into the Gaza Strip by truck, in cooperation with local Red Cross branches.
Medicines and equipment
The package has been put together from a list requested by the Egyptian government and an assessment of Gaza's most urgent needs: surgical instruments, orthopaedic equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches and braces, medicines and equipment used for patients with breathing problems or to ventilate patients during operations.
Last week, the Israeli army (IDF) took over al-Shifa, the largest hospital in Gaza City, which, according to the UN, housed at least 2,300 patients, nurses and displaced people. The IDF believes the Palestinian militant group Hamas was using the hospital as a military base, and released video footage of a tunnel as evidence on Monday. The claim has not been independently verified.
© MAHMUD HAMS / AFP