The European Union (EU) has donated an additional €9.27 million ($11 million) to the Palestinian Authority (PA), supporting the payment of medical referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals, the Office of the EU Representative announced today.
This new contribution will enable these hospitals to maintain their crucial services while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including specialised services that are not available elsewhere in the occupied West Bank or Gaza, such as renal care and cardiac surgeries.
The EU and donor countries have supported healthcare in Palestine with regular contributions to cover the costs of referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals since 2012. Since then, the total support amounts to €140 million ($167.94 million).
The East Jerusalem hospitals are among the few Palestinian institutions still working in the city.
"We are witnessing an alarming increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Palestine. The healthcare system is overloaded and faces unprecedented challenges. Under these difficult circumstances, it is crucial that East Jerusalem hospitals can continue to provide quality specialized health care to Palestinians from all parts of the Palestinian territory," said EU representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem currently stands at 96,788.
Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila today said that 15 people have died after contracting coronavirus in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the last 24 hours, while 2,062 tested positive and 1,153 patients recovered.
"Through our Team Europe approach, we have managed to mobilise resources from the EU and its Member States to help the PA in facing the impact of Covid-19 pandemic," said Burgsdorff.
"Our support to the Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem demonstrates once again our strong commitment towards the Palestinian people as well as the Palestinian institutions in the city."