Mercy Relief’s (MR) six-man team returned to Singapore after spending more than a week shuttling between Egypt and Israel to establish the relief supply chains to address the humanitarian needs of the armed conflict victims in Gaza.  With supply network secured, more Singaporean donations can get directly and swiftly into conflict-stricken area.

Addressing the acute need for medical aid, the Singapore-born humanitarian organisation is working with its existing partners –the Palestinian and Egyptian Red Crescent Societies (PRCS and ERCS) –to deliver essential medical supplies through the Egyptian Rafah border.  An Ear-Nose-Throat facility was set up at a hospital in Gaza in partnership with the PRCS.  The MR team also linked up with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Jerusalem to deliver clinical laboratory equipment through the Israeli Kerem Shalom Crossing to allow for earlier diagnoses of patients to facilitate appropriate medical and surgical interventions.

Team leader Hassan Ahmad, said, “In contrast to the similar conflict in 2008 which MR responded to, food is quite available due to the continuous access at the Rafah border.  The most pressing areas of needs on the ground this time are medical, shelter, hygiene and post-trauma stress disorder.  In addition to medical aid, MR is already working with the respective international clusters for our next team from Singapore to support the provision of clean potable water, hygiene essentials and tarpaulins to rehabilitate partially damaged homes especially with the onset of winter.”

Of greater concern, local and international agencies are consistent from their independent assessments that the psychological impact on the people from this recent conflict are more severe and obvious, both on children and adults.  Incidents of parents evacuating their homes with their children in the middle of a calm night, increase in Enuresis (bed-wetting) cases and nightmares have all been reported.

While in Israel, the MR team visited the conflict-affected town of Kiryat Malachi to better understand the situation on both sides of the border.

In response to the appeals made by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Red Crescent Societies of Palestine and Egypt for humanitarian relief to Gaza, MR had obtained the permit from the Charities Unit to raise funds from 21 November –23 December 2012.

Singapore’s religious institutions including the Taoist Federation, the Methodist Church and the Rahmatan Lil’ Alamin Foundation (RLAF) have come forward to contribute and support MR’s humanitarian efforts in Gaza.

 

The ENT suite that was set up in a hospital in Gaza through the partnership of PRCS and MR to diagnose and treat the high number of ear, nose and throat diseases and disorders among the Gazans, including primary care problems in both children and adults.

 

(left) MR and ERCS personnel delivering and handing over truckloads of relief supplies to the Palestinian counterparts, the PRCS.

(right) MR team meeting with the UNCEF, lead agency for water and sanitation (watsan) in Gaza, to better understandthe watsan conditions there, and explore possible areas of cooperation.  

Civilians at the Israeli border town of Kiryat Malachi  experiencing the agony of deaths and damage to home like their Palestinians counterpart. 

Despite the truce between Israel and Palestine,  Egyptian military stands alert around the areas near Rafah Crossing.

The MR team returning towards the border to Egypt at sundown after the handover of supplies for Gaza

 

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

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