MedGlobal Warns of Looming Humanitarian Catastrophic from Rafah Offensive 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2024

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MedGlobal Warns of Looming Humanitarian Catastrophic from Rafah Offensive 

International humanitarian organization’s Gaza representative describes the situation as unbearable and in violation of international law

RAFAH – Amid escalating military activities in Rafah and warnings of a planned offensive, the fate of 1.5 million Palestinians seeking refuge in what has been deemed as the last safe haven hangs in the balance. International NGOs, healthcare professionals, and United Nations agencies are sounding the alarm over the catastrophic repercussions of a potential offensive. They anticipate it will further cripple Gaza’s already devastated healthcare infrastructure, hinder humanitarian efforts, and trigger a massive displacement crisis in an increasingly disastrously overcrowded space.

Dr. Zaher Sahloul, president and co-founder of MedGlobal, an international humanitarian organization, recently returned from a MedGlobal medical mission in Gaza. He emphasized the gravity of the situation: “Rafah represents the final refuge for the people of Gaza. With no alternative for escape, the area’s hospitals and clinics are running critically low on fuel, supplies and medicines, essential for treating those at the brink of succumbing to this looming humanitarian disaster.”

During the two-week January medical mission, Sahloul worked in Rafah and Khan Yunis clinics and hospitals and witnessed firsthand the detrimental effects of the conflict on healthcare accessibility, humanitarian aid, and the displacement of vulnerable populations.

Added Rajaa Musleh, MedGlobal’s country representative in Gaza, who is based in Rafah, “The situation we are enduring in Rafah is horrific and getting worse everyday. We do not have water to drink or food to eat, and our healthcare facilities can hardly operate. I have witnessed innocent civilians – men, women and children – shot to death and left on the ground. Schools and hospitals, intended to be protected by international law, are targeted. Those of us who are still alive, we may still be breathing, but we are dying inside, as we work to save ourselves and our patients in urgent and dire need of physical and psychological care.”

Since 2018, MedGlobal has worked in Gaza to support the local healthcare infrastructure, strengthen the healthcare system and improve healthcare access. MedGlobal’s Rafah clinic is currently seeing 700 patients a day, and its 12 medical points and clinics at shelters in the Rafah area each see an average of 200 patients a day, with medical services ever expanding based on the emerging needs of the impacted population. MedGobal also operates a stabilization center for severe malnutrition, in addition to providing medical equipment and supplies. 

In support of MedGlobal’s local colleagues, MedGlobal organizes medical missions of volunteer U.S. healthcare workers to Gaza, who support the organization’s local colleagues. The next mission is scheduled for March.

Sahloul urged, “All parties capable of influencing the situation must endeavor to prevent this disastrous offensive into Rafah. The potential humanitarian impact, including a surge in casualties and fatalities among civilians in Gaza, is unimaginable.”

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MedGlobal is a humanitarian nonprofit organization that provides emergency response and health programs to build resilience among vulnerable communities around the world. The organization’s health programs support victims of crisis and conflict, refugees, internally displaced persons, and marginalized communities in disaster-affected and low-resource settings.