A humanitarian band-aid: Turkey to send medical supplies to Gaza
In the best-case scenario, this inadequate relief acts as a band-aid, but all too often, it is deployed inadequately and belatedly amid the ongoing genocide in Gaza.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that Turkey will dispatch a plane loaded with medication and medical experts to Egypt on Sunday to provide assistance to forcibly displaced Gazans mainly at the Rafah crossing border.
GAZZE’YE YARDIM AMACIYLA, Cumhurbaşkanlığımıza ait bir uçak, ilaç, tıbbi malzemelerle yarın sabah Mısır’a hareket ediyor. Uçakta 20 uzmandan oluşan hekim grubu bulunacak.— Dr. Fahrettin Koca (@drfahrettinkoca) October 21, 2023
Mısır Sağlık Bakanı Khaled Abdel Ghaffar ile gerekli görüşmeleri yaptım. 20 kişilik uzman ekibimiz Mısırlı…
"To provide aid to Gaza, a plane belonging to our Presidency is leaving tomorrow morning for Egypt with medicine and medical consumables. There will be a physician group consisting of 20 specialists on the plane … Our expert team of 20 persons will identify with the Egyptian authorities the medicines, medical consumables, and devices needed by the people of Gaza," Koca said on X.
The minister further mentioned that the Turkish medical experts will conduct assessments for the potential establishment of field hospitals at El-Arish Airport and Rafah Border Gate.
"Simultaneously with these activities, we are planning to send the medicines, medical consumables, and medical devices in the list of needs previously submitted by the Egyptian Ministry of Health to El-Arish Airport with our three cargo planes," Koca added.
He also vowed that Ankara would send the field hospitals and ambulances later.
Just a humanitarian band-aid!
For the past 16 days, 'Israel" has imposed a total blockade on Gaza amid non-stop brutal bombardments of residential buildings, UN schools, bakeries, ambulances, and even hospitals.
In short, there is no safe place in Gaza where a considerable number of people are enduring extreme hardship, with limited access to food, often reduced to just one daily meal, and facing severe water shortages. Additionally, medical professionals at hospitals are facing critical shortages of both medical supplies and fuel to power their generators while tending to the overwhelming number of casualties resulting from the brutal airstrikes.
The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that at least four hospitals are no longer operational, and 25 others have sustained damage due to deliberate Israeli airstrikes targeting the vicinity of these hospitals and health centers. Furthermore, it's worth noting that the strategic reserves in the Gaza Strip have been depleted.
The situation within Gaza is extremely grave. There is a severe shortage not just of food but also of essential resources such as water, electricity, and fuel. This dire combination not only constitutes a catastrophe but also has the potential to result in further instances of starvation and disease.
Five United Nations agencies announced on Saturday that the situation in the Gaza Strip has been "catastrophic" as they urged for further international assistance given the deteriorating conditions across the Strip.
"More than 1.6 million people in Gaza are in critical need of humanitarian aid," said the statement from the agencies, adding that "children, pregnant women, and the elderly remain the most vulnerable."
The statement also underscored that "nearly half of Gaza's population are children" and that "Gaza was a desperate humanitarian situation before the most recent hostilities," however, "it is now catastrophic."
"The world must do more," urged the statement by the signatories: the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the World Food Programme, the UNDP, and the UNFPA.
Despite all this, the Rafah border crossing was shortly opened to allow the first 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza from Egypt. It is worth noting that among the aid supplies were shrouds.
In the best-case scenario, this inadequate relief acts as a band-aid, but all too often, it is deployed inadequately and belatedly amid the ongoing genocide in Gaza. The act of besieging an already vulnerable territory exacerbates the damage, making any aid in the form of biscuits, water, and shrouds insufficient for adequate recovery. A humanitarian catastrophe is imminent, potentially resulting in the loss of thousands of lives.