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UAE, Qatar donate funds to stave off Gaza health crisis

Palestinian conjoined twins, born only a day ago, are seen in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza city on 22 October 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinian conjoined twins, born only a day ago, are seen in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza city on 22 October 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The United Arab Emirates has donated $2 million and Qatar has pledged another $9 million to the besieged Gaza Strip, staving off a threatened shut-down of emergency hospital generators in the impoverished Palestinian enclave, officials said on Friday.

The United Nations had appealed for funds on Tuesday, saying fuel for generators that keep Gaza’s hospitals and sanitation services operating would run out within 10 days.

The World Health organisation announced the UAE donation in a statement, saying it would “provide enough fuel to keep facilities running for several months”. Qatar’s pledge was announced on its Foreign Ministry website.

UN: Power crisis brings Gaza to ‘verge of disaster’

So far generators have stopped at three of Gaza’s 13 hospitals and 14 of its 54 medical centres, according to the enclave’s health ministry.

Gaza’s neighbours, Egypt and Israel, have long clamped down on its borders, a blockade they say is needed for security.

A US decision to cut aid to the United Nations Relief and Welfare Agency (UNRWA), which provides aid to Palestinian refugees, also threatens to deepen hardship in Gaza.

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