LONDON: Britain is to provide a £1.6 million aid package to help build a limb reconstruction center in Gaza.
The funds will go to the World Health Organization and will provide life-saving medical treatment for more than 380,000 people, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said.
Gaza’s ailing health service has been plunged into further crisis by the thousands of Palestinians injured from Israeli live fire during more than a year of protests near their shared border.
At least 190 people have been killed and 6,800 wounded during the weekly protests and the United Nations warned last week that an additional 1,700 people could lose limbs without an injection of funds.
The Foreign Office said the package of support would relieve the extreme pressure on Gaza’s health service, which is struggling to cope with thousands of patients in need of trauma care.
"I'm delighted to be able to announce £1.6 million of new funding that will help towards emergency and trauma care for the people of Gaza."
— Foreign Office (@foreignoffice) May 29, 2019
"I’ve seen first-hand how important this new UK aid package is to save the lives and limbs, relieving at least some of the strain on Gaza’s health system,” Andrew Murrison, Britain’s Minister for the Middle East, said.
The UK would also provide valuable expertise to help Gaza’s health service deal with emergency patients and complex injuries including gunshot wounds.
The package includes equipment, such as radios and GPS maps, to help the ambulance service improve its ability to respond.
“But only a just and lasting resolution that ends the occupation and delivers peace for both Israelis and Palestinians will fully resolve the problems facing Gaza," Murrison said. "The UK remains committed to making progress toward a two-state solution.”
Gaza, which is ruled by the hardline Hamas group, has been under a punishing blockade from Israel for more than a decade.
The siege has crippled services and led to a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by a series of military operations against the territory.