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S’pore inter-faith group Humanity Matters to hand over medical, relief aid for Gaza civilians

Straits Times | 15 November 2023

Inter-faith non-profit group Humanity Matters (HM) is handing over some $215,000 worth of medical supplies and other relief items to humanitarian workers who are helping civilians caught in the devastating war in the Gaza Strip.

“Our Singaporean medical relief cargo... is already on the way to Rafah and will join the trucking queue to cross the border,” HM special adviser Hassan Ahmad was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the group on Tuesday.

Mr Hassan is leading a four-man team overseeing the relief mission.

The relief supplies, weighing some 9.5 tonnes, were packed by over 100 volunteers on Oct 29.

These supplies include 10,000 bags of intravenous fluids and 5,000 cannula and administration sets for treating dehydration, as well as for those undergoing and recovering from surgical procedures.

HM is also sending pain relievers, vitamins, lightweight winter blankets and collapsible jerry cans that will help families collect and store water, and in the overall distribution of water around Gaza.

These supplies, which arrived in Cairo, Egypt, on Nov 4, are due to be received by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) at Rafah, a Palestinian city in the south of Gaza.

PRCS secretary-general Tarek Arafat said: “I would like to thank all our Singaporean friends who have donated to help ease the pain and stress of those who have lost their homes, the casualties, the young mothers and their newborns.”

The war in Gaza erupted on Oct 7 after Hamas militants stormed border towns in southern Israel, leaving at least 1,200 people dead.

Israel has vowed to wipe out Hamas, but its response, including a total siege and constant bombardment of Gaza, has led to a humanitarian crisis in the crowded enclave.

Gazan officials said more than 11,000 people were confirmed dead from Israeli strikes. Around 40 per cent of the victims were children, and countless others remained trapped under rubble.

Around two-thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been made homeless, unable to escape the territory where food, fuel, water and medical supplies are running out.

Mr Hassan has led previous Singaporean relief efforts for affected Gazan civilians between 2009 and 2012, and in 2021.

He said: “Unlike the humanitarian relief efforts for Gaza, which we were involved with from previous escalations, this current conflict is not only massive and more intense, but also it is still ongoing.”

He added that the war in Gaza “directly involves several countries that share territorial borders”.

“It is made more complex against the larger global matrix and dynamics, and the varying international interests,” Mr Hassan said.

“For Humanity Matters, which strives to personally deliver appropriate humanitarian aid from Singapore, this time round, our focus is to navigate effectively, yet subtly, steadily and safely, in an operating environment which is both fresh and fluid.”

HM said it will continue working with its ground partners in Egypt and Gaza to identify further humanitarian aid required in the short and medium terms.


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