The German Representative Office in Ramallah and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) handed over specialized medical equipment in support of critical health facilities in the West Bank to the Minister of Health, Mai Alkaila, today.
According to a press release from the German Representative Office, the support provided is part of the €17 million Investment Program for Resilience (IPR) implemented across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip financed by Germany through its Development Bank (KfW).
Alkaila thanked the Federal Republic of Germany for the continuous support provided to the Ministry of Health.
“Today we received a shipment of medical equipment as part of the €17 million Investment Program allocation, which also supports the provision of temporary human resources from different specializations,” she added.
The $1.3 million worth of medical equipment included Computed Tomography (CT) Scan, Digital Radiography Machine, C-Arm X-Ray, bedside monitors, defibrillators monitor, suction machines, emergency patient beds (stretcher), real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) with software and computer, Automatic PCR System, and a fully automated Chemistry Analyzer.
“Germany has supported Palestine in times of crisis when Corona hit the region. Today, we are glad to hand over crucial equipment and to contribute to the long-term capacities of the Palestinian health sector”, Michael Herold, Acting Head of the German Representative Office stated.
The medical equipment provided will be distributed across 16 health facilities and will enhance the Ministry of Health’s efforts to provide access to healthcare services, particularly COVID-19 response, to approximately 240,000 patients per month.
UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, Yvonne Helle, acknowledged the longstanding partnership UNDP has with Germany in support of the Palestinian People.
She highlighted that “COVID-19 has further deepened Palestinian vulnerabilities. This program will not only address the health needs but will also develop capacities and generate much-needed employment for the people whose lives are most at risk. This new contribution will enable us to respond to the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and build a better future together. Our transformative resilience approach is a key component in the sustainably of this program and its impact on the lives of tens of thousands of people.”
In addition to the handing over of medical equipment, the ceremony included touring the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, visiting the new CT-scan section, and meeting some of the health workers that were deployed and skills developed under the Investment Program for Resilience. Through the program, 1,050 health workers (45% women), including doctors, nurses, and lab technicians, were deployed so far of which 837 are in the West Bank and 231 are in Gaza, generating approximately 147,468 workdays over an eight-month period.
This is not the first time that support is provided through the IPR during the pandemic. In December 2020, the program provided laboratory supplies and testing kits that allowed for 23,000 tests to be carried out as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Gaza Strip.
The Investment Program for Resilience (IPR) is a €17 million program funded by the Government of Germany through its Development Bank (KfW), supports Palestinian communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigates the medium to longer-term socio-economic effects in the areas of health and employment, and enhances access to sustainable and quality services. The program targets most of the Palestinian population across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.