US gives emergency $5million in Covid aid for Palestinians

US gives emergency $5million in Covid aid to West Bank, Gaza
2 min read
22 October, 2021
The United States is giving an additional $5million in aid to the West Bank and Gaza, building on $25 million in assistance given earlier this year.
The aid will be provided via the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). [Getty]

The United States is giving $5 million in emergency Covid-19 aid for the West Bank and Gaza, amid concerns over rising infections.

The aid will be provided via the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and builds on $25 million in assistance earlier this year.

Coronavirus numbers are slowing but still rising in the West Bank and Gaza, with over three quarters of cases remaining in Gaza. The average number of new infections reported each day in the Palestinian territories nevertheless fell by 47 per cent over the last three weeks, with 496 new infections reported on average each day.

This comes as some 2,301,812 doses of Covid-vaccines, predominantly Moderna vaccines have been supplied through the World Health Organization's COVAX programme.

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Despite a vaccination drive by the Palestinian Authority and a drop in cases, last month the Palestinian health minister warned of a fourth Covid-19 wave in West Bank and Gaza.

Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila has said that a fourth wave of infections across the Palestinian territories could be on its way.

During a weekly cabinet meeting, the minister called for the public to follow Covid-19 safety measures to limit the spread of the virus.

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"I invite you, time and time again, to respect social distancing and to wear face masks," she said, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.

Palestinian authorities faced delays in being able to secure vaccines, in part due to Israeli policies.

However, they were recently able to secure 2.8 million vaccine doses through a combination of the COVAX programme and vaccine donations from China and the UAE, according to the WHO.