Date of issue: 17 May 2018
On the first day of Ramadan, Muslim Aid calls for the immediate end to the killing of innocent civilians
The holy month of Ramadan starts today(17 May 2018), and global humanitarian agency Muslim Aid condemns the fact that innocent Palestinian civilians have lost their lives so needlessly in the recent attacks, and so many more have been injured.
Muslim Aid's International Programmes Director Imtiaz Mohammed said: "We are thinking of the families in Gaza who are starting their Ramadan with heartbreak and bereavement. Citizens of Gaza live in an open-air prison. Healthcare is difficult to access, as is water. Many have no hope of employment or a better quality of life. It's time the world woke up to the plight of these civilians, we must start to give them hope for the future and basic human rights."
Imtiaz Mohammed adds: "Here at Muslim Aid we are poised to start the holy month, a time to fast and reflect on our spirituality, and the qualities of mercy and compassion. The timing for such a horrific outbreak of violence could not have been worse."
Fifty-eight people were killed on Monday (14 May) including eight children, and more than 2,700 people have been injured.
"It's terribly sad that, a few days before the holy month of Ramadan, hundreds of people have had to have a limb amputated," says Ahmed Ibrahim, Muslim Aid's regional programme manager. "Our team in Gaza is trying to do what they can in this extremely difficult time."
Muslim Aid is asking donors to help the hundreds of injured people who are being treated at AlAwda hospital in Jebaliya, Gaza. The hospital has been providing first aid and treatment for about 13 per cent of the people injured in Gaza since the beginning of the recent demonstrations.
Donations will pay for medical consumables such as bandages, syringes, needles, sutures, staples, tubing, catheters, medical gloves, gowns, masks, adhesives and sealants for wound dressing in the northern Gaza hospital.
Muslim Aid has been working on the ground with our partners in Gaza since 2006. We have provided emergency and long-term relief, helping to save and change lives.
Another of Muslim Aid's seven Appeals during Ramadan will focus on neonatal intensive care in Gaza. Approximately 55,000 babies are delivered every year in Gaza, with up to 4,000 of these are at high risk. Gaza has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the world, almost 22 babies per 1000 die at birth or within their first week of life. By comparison, the UK rate is 3.7 babies per 1000 births.
Funds raised during the above Appeal will:
• Support neonatal interventions in six neonatal departments.
• Train over 200 doctors, nurses, midwives and cleaners to improve their competence in neonatal life support, infection control, ICU care management and prevention of a potentially blinding eye disorder that affects premature infants.
• Ensure the availability of life-saving equipment, medicines and infection control.
For further information or interviews with Imtiaz Mohammed please contact Beverley Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org (07921 655272) or Eileen Maybin at email@example.com (07769 68943).
Notes to Editors
1. Muslim Aid is a relief and development agency set up in the United Kingdom in 1985 to provide humanitarian assistance to disaster affected countries and to help poor and vulnerable communities overcome poverty. Muslim Aid works with all communities irrespective of faith.
2. Muslim Aid's partner in Gaza for neonatal work is Medical Aid for Palestinians.
3. Muslim Aid is also supporting farmers in Gaza who have lost their livelihoods after their lands were bulldozed and irrigation systems, greenhouses and boreholes were destroyed. They are being given seeds, fertilisers, irrigation systems and technical training on how to produce seasonal crops which sell well in markets, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergine, peppers, cauliflower, potatoes and carrots.
*World Health Organisation, 2016.