In addition to the work Magen David Adom UK facilitates in Israel, contributing significantly to the running of Israel’s only national medical emergency and blood service, its lifesaving work also takes place further afield. Often through the direct humanitarian impact of MDA in places such as Haiti and Nepal, or as a result of MDA’s role as Israel’s International Red Cross movement.
As part of Magen David Adom UK’s ongoing commitment to humanitarian aid in the Middle East, the organisation has announced this week that, in the aftermath of ‘Operation Guardian of the Walls’, it facilitated the delivery of over $500,000 worth of medicines to the West Bank and Gaza. Through a restricted donation of just £15,000 from a London-based donor who actively sought out and specified the nature of the partnership with International Health Partners, the funds were used towards paying for the shipping costs into the region.
The delivery included 108,388 treatments including antivirals, anti-epileptics and antibiotics. In addition, there were approximately 2,000 mental health treatments (Citalopram) for panic disorders and depression and 400 treatments of Capecitabine, a chemotherapy drug used to treat breast and pancreatic cancers.
The donation is the latest in the collaboration between IHP and Magen David Adom UK that also saw a container sent to Beirut after MDA UK launched an emergency appeal (at the request of the Embassy of Israel in the UK) after the port explosion in August 2020 that
killed 218 people and left the area devastated. Previously, MDA UK has funded the transportation of essential oncology treatments for Gazan children with cancer.
Magen David Adom UK’s response to the violence in Israel earlier in the year also involved working with the British Red Cross to ensure that, for the first time, its emergency appeal would see funds being distributed to those affected in both Gaza AND Israel. We are pleased that in these circumstances we could similarly extend our humanitarian assistance.
Magen David Adom UK Chief Executive, Daniel Burger, explained,
“Each year our generous donors give over £5m to support our services in Israel. However, in the light of the Abraham Accords, it is clear that we must take a more regional responsibility. When we were asked to make such a big life-saving impact at a relatively low cost, it was a simple decision. In line with our mission, we will always do whatever we can to save more lives.”
These medical goods have relatively short shelf lives and so cannot be used in the UK. However, where there is urgent humanitarian need, they can be deployed for immediate usage. The pharmaceutical companies release their stock for International Health Partners to arrange dispatch, delivery and distribution.
International Health Partners (IHP) is a non-profit organisation that supports people in disaster-hit and vulnerable communities to get the medicines they need, by coordinating the safe and responsible donation of long-dated medical products. IHP is the largest coordinator of donated medical products in Europe. Bridging the gap between healthcare companies and humanitarian agencies, helping individuals and communities access the essential medicines and health supplies they need, and strengthen health systems when they are put under strain by natural or man-made crises.