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Gaza hospitals, clinics to reopen after UAE pledge: WHO

Israel's blockade of the besieged enclave has led to chronic energy and medication shortages [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 February, 2018

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Following an emergency appeal by the United Nations, the UAE has pledged $2 million to help ease the fuel crisis in Gaza.
More than 20 medical centres in Gaza will reopen fully in the coming days, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday, after the UAE provided funding to end a fuel shortage.

Key services have been suspended in recent weeks in three hospitals and 16 medical centres as crippling fuel shortages meant generators were unable to function, said the health ministry in Gaza.

Gaza receives a few hours of electricity a day, and hospitals and other vital services rely on private generators provided by the United Nations.

The UAE pledged $2 million after an emergency UN appeal said Mahmoud Dahar, head of the WHO in Gaza.

"We have received an announcement from the UAE that they are going to fund two million, which will make the situation a bit easier for another few months," he told AFP.

He added that he expected the hospitals and centres to fully reopen "in the coming days".

No date was given for the centres to resume normal operation, with the ministry saying it was awaiting official confirmation of the UAE.

On Tuesday, medical charity MAP warned that the healthcare system in the Gaza Strip is on the brink of "total collapse" and needs urgent action from the international community if it is to survive its current crises.

Israel's crippling blockade of the besieged enclave has led to chronic energy and medication shortages, and tightening restrictions on exit permits for Gazans in need of medical care outside of the territory pose critical health risks.

Nearly one million Palestinian refugees are dependent on UNRWA for emergency food assistance, a ten-fold increase on the 100,000 Palestinian refugees figure in 2000.

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