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Palestinians: Coronavirus

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 85047, tabled on 4 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to support the covid-19 response in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Answered on

14 September 2020

The UK Government remains deeply concerned by the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), which has now reached over 30,000 (as of 6 September). The capacity of the Palestinian health system, especially in Gaza, to cope with the increase in COVID-19 cases has been severely impaired by longstanding Israeli movement and access restrictions and shortages in specialised staff, drugs and equipment.

The UK's recent £840,000 funding contribution has enabled the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity. The Foreign Secretary also recently announced a further £2.7 million funding to UN agencies to provide food assistance, medical supplies and personal protection for the most vulnerable Palestinians.

In addition to our commitment to funding, our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem frequently urge the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to take steps to improve conditions in Gaza.