URGENT ALERT

Inhumane Attacks on Displaced Families in Gaza

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12.20.2023

Project HOPE Neonatal Clinic in Rafah, Gaza Damaged in Airstrike

Project HOPE’s neonatal clinic in Rafah, Gaza sustained damage in an airstrike on Wednesday.

people walking through rubble in Gaza in daylight
As part of our response in Gaza, Project HOPE established a neonatal clinic in Rafah to help restore access to health care for residents in southern Gaza. In December, the clinic was damaged in an airstrike that destroyed a neighboring mosque and other buildings.

Project HOPE’s neonatal clinic in Rafah, Gaza sustained damage in an airstrike on Wednesday. We were relieved to learn that all Project HOPE team members are safe and accounted for. The clinic, dedicated to providing care for pregnant individuals and newborns, was set to begin treating patients this week.

As a result, Project HOPE has temporarily halted activities in Rafah while the damage to the building is assessed.  

Project HOPE had deployed an assessment team to Gaza to support our local staff members when the airstrikes hit Rafah. The assessment team had just arrived at the Rafah Crossing when the news of the bombardment reached them. They turned around from the border to return to Egypt, and their trip has been postponed. This decision was made to prioritize the safety of our staff, patients, and partners in the area.

Chris Skopec, Executive Vice President of Global Health at Project HOPE, said:

“Our team from Egypt and health workers in Gaza narrowly escaped tragedy today by a matter of chance. Health workers had been in the clinic just hours before an Israeli airstrike hit the mosque next door. Our team from Egypt had planned to visit later in the day. The mosque, standing four stories tall, is now reduced to rubble and our clinic also sustained damage and is currently unreachable due to the debris. This setback delays our ability to begin treating patients, a disservice to parents eagerly seeking critical care for their newborns. The clinic, once operational, will serve as a vital resource for parents with nowhere else to turn.

Attacks on civilian infrastructure, such as mosques and health facilities, blatantly violate international humanitarian law. As the death toll exceeds 20,000 people in Gaza in a matter of just 74 days, it serves as a stark reminder that no one and no place is safe in Gaza, especially women and children.

Humanitarians and health care staff are the true heroes in Gaza. They continue to work every day despite constant bombardments, and little food, clean water, electricity, or fuel. To prevent future deaths from injuries, disease, or health complications, health workers need protection and robust access to medicine, medical supplies, nutritional assistance, and electricity. Without, more people will die from preventable causes.”

Project HOPE has been actively supporting Palestinian and Israeli communities affected by the conflict. Our team in Gaza, which is made up of displaced health workers, is treating patients in Deir al Balah and setting up a neonatal clinic in Rafah. Project HOPE has also provided supplies including family hygiene kits, mattresses, and blankets to our partner ANERA; and has additional medical supplies ready to enter Gaza. 

Project HOPE has spokespeople available.

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