Mr Balfour put us here. We want another promise
Monday 20 May 2013
Reflections on the 65th Anniversary of the Nakba
Thursday 16 May 2013
MAP contribution on disability in AL Monitor feature
Thursday 16 May 2013
WAR ON GAZA
On 27 December Israel launched 'Operation: Cast Lead' on the Gaza Strip. Only 25 miles long, three miles wide and home to 1.5 million Palestinians, the Gaza Strip has suffered under an ongoing blockade by Israel.
During the bombardment, the population had nowhere to flee, and within Gaza, there was nowhere safe to go. After more than three weeks of military attack from the land, air and sea against the people of Gaza - one of the most densely populated places on earth - approximately 1400 Palestinians were killed. Of these, more than 400 were children. More than 5,300 people have been left with serious injuries, many of which have resulted in disability, which will require long-term rehabilitation and support. Medical staff did not escape the carnage; scores were injured and twenty-two paramedics were killed when ambulances were hit.
Over 100,000 people lost their homes and the UN puts the damage to infrastructure at $2 billion.
A decade of permanent presence in the Gaza Strip ensured that MAP was well positioned to respond quickly to emergency needs during the crisis and allowed us to strengthen local coping mechanisms to deal with such an emergency. Through our emergency preparedness plan and policy of pre-positioning, MAP was able to respond within two hours of the crisis in the Gaza Strip. MAP's policy of also ensuring that local staff are supported and equipped with telephone communications, small generators and pre-stocked fuel ensured that MAP staff remained operational and in effective contact with partners.
MAP's policy in emergency is to first deliver pre-positioned items: surgical kits non food shelter items such as mattresses and blankets; then to work with local partners to define additional rapid response needs, and post crisis, to undertake collaborative assessments to support early recovery efforts in areas which are either a significant identified gap or to strengthen emergency response capacity within one of MAP's core strategic programme areas. As chair of AIDA health group, MAP played a leading role in supporting coordination efforts in the field.
These coordination efforts were facilitated by MAP's employment of nine information officers. Each information officer was tasked with monitoring a main hospital in the Gaza Strip, whereby the hospital's fuel supply, status of equipment, number of surgeries performed, patients admitted and discharged, as well as deaths, were documented on a regular basis. In addition, information officers were responsible for relaying any incidents pertaining to the hospital or its surrounding area immediately to members of MAP staff.
As a result, MAP was able to supply crucial information to the necessary UN Agencies, INGOs and at times the media, depending on the need of the hospital or the incident that occurred, so that appropriate action could be taken and assistance given.
In order to prepare for rapid response MAP has developed a strong network of community based partners across the Gaza Strip committed to responding to community needs impartially. During the crisis these partners supported MAP to assess needs and respond to the vast numbers of displaced families living in shelters as well as family homes. Given MAP's strategic focus on child health and disability, MAP wasconcerned to prioritise these vulnerable groups during the crisis.
As a result of the tremendous support for the victims in Gaza by January 31st MAP has raised over £1 Million.
This page chronicles MAP's response to the attacks - which can be divided into 3-stages:
STAGE ONE - Emergency Rapid Response
Immediately after the initial airstrikes on Gaza MAP deployed emergency surgical kits to hospitals. This was followed by the mobilisation of MAP's blood bank facility to help save seriously wounded Palestinians.
MAP was able to conduct a rapid response to events in Gaza through our permanent presence on the ground. Our office in Gaza City and our experience of working in Gaza for over a decade allowed MAP to pre-position emergency resources to effectively react to a rapidly developing emergency.
STAGE TWO - Coordination of Vital Aid into Gaza
MAP set up an emergency task force team to sort out stock, pharmaceutical team and storage spaces to redeploy over Gaza strip, establishing three main distribution centres on in South, Middle and North Gaza Strip.
This task force developed a medical equipment and spare parts inventory in addition to emergency support to central drugs store. This supports not only medical but non medical items essentials for hospital delivery. MAP is working closely with WHO, ICRC and others to share this info and support survey.
MAP is also addressing the need for drugs, disposables and technical aids - including need for addition support for orthopaedics and medical rehabilitation - this will be for both NGOs and MAP. MAP is already providing pervious items at zero stock that were raised at central meeting for children with Cystic Fibrosis.
As the fighting continued in Gaza over 50,000 Palestinians were internally displaced- MAP responded by delivering over 12,000 nutrition kits, hygiene kits and diapers for Gazan families.
STAGE THREE - Early Recovery and Rehabilitation Programme
MAP has started the next stage of its response - initiating the 'Early Recovery and Rehabilitation Programme' (ERRP).
Whole families have been left without homes or shelter, a huge number of casualties will require intensive and immediate medical care, chronic disease and infection rates are likely to soar due to water and food shortages across the Gaza Strip. MAP's ERRP aims to respond to these critical needs.
MAP is working with UNICEF and UN Family Planning Agency on a joint programme to deal with the neglect of maternal and newborn health during the crisis. MAP is also preparing for a rapid assessment of child nutrition and is working towards a new strategy for disability in the region.
For more information on MAP's continuing response please sign up to our E-Newsletter - The Monitor / email us at Info@map-uk.org / or telephone us on 0207 226 7691