The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO) issued a paper on the shortage of assistive devices in the national NGOs of the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities (PwD) sector, and its implications on their interventions and responses to their needs.
The paper focuses on Persons with Disabilities are one of the most vulnerable groups affected by Gaza crises. Prioritizing urgent and life-saving interventions by the International community and donors resulting in an acute shortage of assistive devices, supplies, and medicines in addition to the difficulty to access services. The paper also mentioned that around 80 NGOs working in the rehabilitation sector in the Gaza Strip, registered in the Ministry of Social Development, continue to operate under difficult conditions. They also suffer from a severe shortage of resources since the imposition of the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip 13 years ago. This crisis was worsened by the Great March of Return’s high number of casualties which resulted in above-average medical needs and device consumption, as stated in the paper.
The issued paper reflects the results of a survey conducted by PNGO Network in August 2019 in the Gaza Strip, which included 10 NGOs members at PNGO Rehabilitation Sector, on the shortage of assistive devices at National Rehabilitation NGOs and its impact on PwD and target groups. The study concluded that 82% of various types of assistive devices are Zero stock in the national rehabilitation NGOs under study.
The study also revealed that the ten organizations mentioned in the study distributed a total of 2,100 assistive devices of various types during 2019, with an estimated need of 4,413 additional assistive devices to meet the current needs of PwD during 2019.
Therefore, PNGO Network calls upon the international community to take serious and immediate actions to lift the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to respect the international conventions and humanitarian law and to provide protection for the Palestinian people, especially PwD.
PNGO also calls for providing facilitation’s to PwD by guaranteeing freedom of movement, receiving various therapeutic and rehabilitation services, allowing the entry of all necessary assistive devices and prosthetic parts, launching employment projects and creating an enabling environment for PwD.
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