It has been a busy month at IHP as we respond to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and explore responses to three other disasters: the deadly third wave of COVID-19 in both India and Nepal; and the devastating eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano in The Democratic Republic of Congo. These disaster responses sit alongside our regular shipments to support long-term healthcare programmes, and already this year, we’re set to exceed the total number of treatments sent throughout the whole of 2020. Thank you for your continued support which enables us to scale up our work to meet this growing need.
Responding to conflict in Gaza
Following the recent escalation in the Israel-Palestine conflict, we are responding with a shipment of mental health medication, followed by a shipment of wide-ranging basic healthcare medicines including antibiotics and vital supplies of chronic health medicines to Gaza. A special thanks to Aviation Sans Frontières, which provided a rapid response to our request for support, enabling us to act quickly to get medicines to those in need.
A ceasefire agreed on Friday 21 May, brought an end to 11 days of fighting in which more than 250 people were killed and many thousands more injured. Six hospitals and eleven primary healthcare facilities have been severely damaged by airstrikes, and one additional hospital is no longer operational due to a lack of electricity, putting further strain on the healthcare system to respond to injuries and the pandemic. We are working closely with our in-country partner Anera, to assess and respond to the ongoing healthcare needs. To find out more about IHP’s response and how you can support us, click here.
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Will you step up for global health?
Throughout July, we’re challenging you to walk 10,000 steps or more every day, to raise vital funds and awareness for the millions of people living without reliable access to healthcare around the world. That's 310,000 steps, approximately 150 miles or the distance from London to Cardiff!
Maribel is a nurse at the municipal run clinic in Palin, Guatemala:
"I remember one lady who lives in a distant community. She came in with her son who was very sick. She called us in deep distress, she was very scared because they live so far away from a doctor. We were able to pick them up with our ambulance to bring them here to the clinic.
The child was three years old, had a very high fever, and breathing difficulties. We suspected pneumonia and were able to stabilise him with oxygen, antibiotics and rehydration. We did a follow up and he recovered well.
I do not know what the mother would have done if this clinic had not been here to treat him, or the right medicines had not been available when he needed them."
Register below for your free IHP t-shirt, get sponsored for every step and walk alongside those living without reliable access to healthcare.
Can we fight the UK funding cuts together?
Last month, I highlighted the news of the reduction in the UK’s foreign aid budget which has resulted in immediate cuts to programmes in places that IHP works such as Syria and Yemen. Crucial areas such as WASH (Water, sanitation and hygiene) and maternal and child health have been affected significantly. Although IHP does not receive funding directly from the government, we stand with our partners and peer agencies that are cutting programmes as a result of the government’s decision.
The 0.7% commitment was a manifesto promise and there’s growing cross-party parliamentary support for its reinstatement as the impact of the cuts is understood. These impacts include:
- 90% cut in funding to eliminate neglected tropical diseases
- 95% cut in funding for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) this funding would have helped vaccinate 380 million children against polio.
- 83% cut in UK funding to UNAIDS which will jeopardise the fight to end HIV by 2030
- Halving of aid funding to tackle malnutrition according to Save the Children.
It is hoped that there will be a parliamentary vote on the cuts in the next week, to coincide with the G7 meeting which the UK is hosting. If you would like to see the reinstatement of the 0.7% commitment, you can write to your MP and explain why you support it, and ask them how they intend to vote should the vote materialise. More information on the cuts is available at Bond and a suggested letter can be found here.
In other news
- Last month, I was fortunate enough to speak with the Church Times about IHP and how the last year has impacted our work. Read the full article here.
- It is estimated that there are over 80 million forcibly displaced people across the world, many of whom are fleeing their homes due to conflict, persecution or terror. Sunday, 20 June marks World Refugee Day and throughout the month, we’ll be highlighting the many issues refugees face, and how your support of IHP is improving access to medicine for those seeking refuge and asylum. Keep an eye on our website and social channels to find out more.
Together, we can provide better access to medicine and healthcare for those living in vulnerable and disaster-hit communities. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Adele Paterson - CEO