Singapore’s own humanitarian NGO, Mercy Relief (MR), had its first response team for the Gaza conflict relief in neighbouring Egypt last Saturday morning.  By the following afternoon, the team had established the supply chain network with the Egyptian and Palestinian Red Crescent Societies for its medical relief supplies to channel through the Egyptian Rafah border.  The six-man team then flew into Israel to link with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Jerusalem to facilitate more supplies to Gaza through the Israeli Kerem Shalom border.

Medical aid is the prevailing and key humanitarian requirement in Gaza due to the high number of casualties and the onset of winter.  With its three local and international partners, MR is providing structured medical assistance –the provision of essential medical supplies, the set-up of a surgical facility and, facilitating the clinical laboratory test facility to allow for earlier diagnoses to facilitate appropriate interventions.

Last Sunday, the MR team was in the Egyptian province of North Sinai to personally assess the border crossing at Rafah, which saw smooth traffic of passenger and supply vehicles going into Gaza.  Leading the first team, MR Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad said, “The ceasefire and truce between Israel and Hamas have provided some form of peace and stability in the area.  We have to seize this opportunity to quickly and personally assess the actual needs on the ground so as to have better analysis of the situation in order to provide appropriate intervention.  Any wrong intervention would cause wastage and could even exacerbate the situation.  Now that the relief supply chain is established, more Singaporean donations can get directly and swiftly into Gaza”.

In response to the appeals made by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Red Crescents of Palestine and Egypt, to support their ongoing relief efforts for the current armed crisis in Gaza, Palestine, MR had obtained the permit from the Charities Unit to raise funds from 21 November –23 December 2012.

Singapore’s religious and social institutions including the Taoist Federation, the Methodist Church, the Rahmatan Lil’ Alamin Foundation (RLAF) and the Chen Su Lan Trust have come forward to contribute and support MR’s humanitarian efforts in Gaza.  MR can only serve the distressed and disadvantaged as much as the support it gets from concerned donors.

 

Cairo MR team meeting with ERC management to rekindle cooperation for the selection, procurement and delivery of relief supplies via the Egypt-Gaza border of Rafah.

 

North Sinai – Passenger and goods vehicles moving to and across the Rafah Crossing smoothly  from Egypt to Gaza.

 

Rafah Crossing – A lady touting food items to passing motorists / MR team meets with PRC officials at the Egypt-Gaza buffer zone to finalise details of relief operations and partnership.

 

Jerusalem – MR team meets, commits and inks partnership with the WHO to send supplies through the Israeli Kerem Shalom Crossing.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.  

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org