Medical Aid for Palestinians has been working in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for over 20 years. Palestinians in the oPt face regular threats to life, liberty and security, as a result of conflict-related and settler violence, restrictions on the movement of people and goods, and the acceleration of demolition orders on homes and infrastructure.
A widespread protection crisis pervades the oPt, as disregard for human dignity, persistent violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, limited access to essential services, and entrenched food insecurity, continue to characterise day-to-day life for Palestinians.
Although MAP has one overarching programme for the oPt, we have offices in both the West Bank and Gaza to ensure that we are able to respond and work effectively across the territory despite movement and access restrictions. MAP is commited to providing consistent and impartial support to communities in need.
The depleting resilience of Palestinian communities due to the long, drawn-out nature of the crisis in the oPt, coupled with the inadequate disaster preparedness of health systems is rendering people particularly vulnerable to hazards, high casualties and economic loss. Working in partnership with local health providers and hospitals, we aim to ensure equitable access to essential health and nutrition services for the most vulnerable groups, such as children, older people and those with disabilities.
With a diversified portfolio of health and emergency care partners, our work in the oPt focuses on Health Devlopment and Emergency Preparedness and Response:
In Health Development, MAP works in partnership with local providers to promote community participation in health initiatives. In particular, we focus on the key areas of child health, primary health care, disability, rehabilitation and psychosocial health, while working towards an integrated approach to primary health care and public health.
In Emergency Preparedness and Response, MAP responds rapidly and effectively to humanitarian crises and conflict situations that frequently arise, striving to reinforce the resilience of communities. Our capacity to respond is based not only on the presence of our field staff, but strong links with our partner organisations, local health providers and hospitals.
MAP has also invested in strengthening coordination, information flow and research to better underpin health policy, planning and practice within the oPt. MAP has increased support to key research areas, and also re-established the Health Committee of the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA). This Health Committee works to increase information sharing and coordination between health stakeholders, and promotes accountability at all levels. In 2009, MAP was elected to the executive committee of AIDA.
MAP works with local partner organisations to provide a range of community health services, both emergency and longer term. Therefore, we do not provide direct support for individual medical cases.
(www.map-uk.org / 25.08.2012)