Ramallah / Beirut, 9 May 2016 – Since mid-2015, Palestine Red Crescent Society has been improving health and preventing violence in the Gaza Strip through community-based programmes backed by the people of Japan. Recognizing the success of their efforts, the Japanese Government has renewed its support through a 240,000 US dollar contribution which will enable the Red Crescent to continue its community-based health first aid and prevention of violence programmes, in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Emergencies, such as the 2014 war in Gaza, directly threaten the health of communities; through loss of life, injury, illness and disability. Crises such as these also affect negatively livelihoods, health facilities and other essential services, increase emergency-related illness, injury and death, and putt health workers at risk.
In response to these risks and challenges, Palestine Red Crescent Society works with communities in Gaza in order to help them prepare and respond to the resulting health hazards. The aim is to build resilient communities that have their own network of trained Red Crescent community health volunteers that work closely with primary health care centres, and disaster management and emergency medical services volunteers of Palestine Red Crescent Society, as well as with local authorities.
In parallel, the violence prevention programme focuses on women and children in Gaza through community outreach activities delivered by trained Red Crescent volunteers and staff. Volunteer teams raise the issue of interpersonal violence in weekly community outreach sessions, and have open discussions on interpersonal violence, it’s broader impact on society, and how it can be prevented, as well as helping resources and existent law. An estimated 24,000 people will be reached through these Red Crescent violence prevention awareness activities over the coming 12 months.
“Addressing the issues of public health in the community, and of the prevention of violence among the most vulnerable people is essential to enhance to resilience of people in Gaza. Through this new assistance in partnership with IFRC and Palestine Red Crescent Society, I wish the people and communities in Gaza further develop their capacity to address priority health problems and prevention of violence,” said Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority.
“The Government of Japan has recently granted 78 million US dollars mainly to international organizations including IFRC as a new assistance package to the Palestinians. Japan will continue to support Palestinian people,” he added.
Mr. Hiroyuki Kajita, Head of Economic Cooperation at the Representative Office of Japan visited the project sites in Gaza earlier this year where he saw with his own eyes the results of Palestine Red Crescent Society. He also met volunteers and staff involved in the project, and discussed the current challenges that they have faced and the experiences they learned through the project.
With confirmation of continued funding, staff and volunteers have carried out assessments in Deir Al Balah and Jablia on how to further improve the way support is delivered. Building on the experience of the past year and with the support of the Japanese Government, Palestine Red Crescent will strengthen its network of over 152 primary health volunteers in nine locations in the Gaza Strip to increase awareness on public health, violence prevention and mobilize the community.
For further information, please contact:
Amelia Marzal, head of country office – Palestine , IFRC
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: +972 (0) 598235888
Erab Faqaha, head of media, Palestine Red Crescent Society
E-mail: email@example.com | Tel: +972 (0) 599251116
Zain Jarrar, assistant for development cooperation, Representative Office of Japan to the Palestinian Authority
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: +972 (0) 22 413 120