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Israel-Palestine Conflict: How Nurses Can Help

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has created a dire humanitarian crisis, with an urgent need for medical volunteers and donations. According to Doctors Without Borders, the health system in Gaza is on the brink of collapse under the strain of the crisis. The Red Cross reports that hospitals in Gaza and Israel are relying increasingly on volunteers to provide emergency care for the sick and wounded.

Multiple aid organizations like Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, and local hospitals are putting out urgent calls for nurses, doctors, and other medical volunteers to help in Gaza and Israel. With health systems overwhelmed, volunteers are critical to keeping emergency services running and providing lifesaving care. 

Nurses from around the world have already traveled to the frontlines to volunteer. Nurses like American Emily Callahan whose first-hand, unbiased account of her volunteer experience in Gaza for 26 days with Doctors Without Borders has many U.S.-based nurses asking how they can help. 

  • Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF): MSF is an international humanitarian organization that provides medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare. They have a network of medical professionals working in over 70 countries. Nurses can volunteer their time and skills to provide medical care, train local healthcare workers, and support MSF’s emergency response teams.

  • International Medical Corps (IMC): IMC is a global humanitarian aid organization that delivers emergency medical relief and long-term healthcare programs to people affected by conflict, natural disasters, and other crises. They provide a wide range of services, including medical care, mental health support, water and sanitation, and health education. Nurses can volunteer their time and skills to provide clinical care, train local healthcare workers, and support IMC’s disaster response teams.

  • International Rescue Committee (IRC): IRC is a global humanitarian aid organization that provides emergency relief and long-term recovery programs to people affected by conflict, natural disasters, and other crises. They provide a wide range of services, including food, shelter, water, sanitation, healthcare, education, and economic recovery programs. Nurses can volunteer their time and skills to provide medical care, train local healthcare workers, and support IRC’s disaster response teams.

  • Project Hope: Project HOPE is an international global health and humanitarian aid non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in the United States in 1958. The organization works in five main areas: disasters and health crises; infectious diseases; non-communicable diseases; maternal, neonatal, and child health; and health policy. Project HOPE has provided humanitarian assistance to over 1.3 billion people in over 150 countries.

  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF): UNICEF is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental assistance to children around the world. They provide a wide range of services, including education, healthcare, nutrition, water and sanitation, and child protection. Nurses can volunteer their time and skills to provide healthcare to children, train local healthcare workers, and support UNICEF’s emergency response teams.

  • Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies: The Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are a network of humanitarian organizations that provide relief and support to people affected by conflict, natural disasters, and other crises. They provide a wide range of services, including medical care, food and shelter, water and sanitation, and psychosocial support. Nurses can volunteer their time and skills to provide medical care, train local healthcare workers, and support Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies’ emergency response teams.

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These are just a few of the many organizations that nurses can donate to or volunteer with during a worldwide humanitarian crisis. Nurses can make a significant difference in the lives of people affected by these crises by providing their expertise, compassion, and support.

In addition to medical staff, donations are desperately needed. It’s important to properly vet organizations before donating. 

Here is a list of legitimate on-the-ground organizations that were vetted and approved by Charity Watch

  • Doctors Without Borders reports a shortage of medicines, medical consumables, and fuel to power hospital generators. They are seeking financial donations as well as in-kind donations of medical supplies and equipment. 

  • Anera, Anera, an organization devoid of any political or religious affiliations, collaborates with local partners in Palestine to coordinate urgent humanitarian aid efforts. Anera has successfully supplied 12,000 bags of IV solutions to the largest hospital in Gaza. In the near future, they will also be distributing essential provisions like food parcels, clean water, and hygiene kits to families who have been displaced.

  • Muslim Aid USA is actively engaged in addressing this humanitarian crisis, in close collaboration with their on-ground partners. They are actively supplying critical medical aid and equipment to Gaza’s primary hospitals. Additionally, they are distributing food packages and essential non-food items, including hygiene kits and other necessities, to those who require assistance.

  • The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)  has initiated its emergency response team and protocols throughout Israel. In the southern region of the country, they maintain extensive ongoing operations and programs aimed at assisting individuals directly affected by the conflict, which includes support for the elderly, individuals with disabilities, children, and at-risk families.

  • Hadassah The Hadassah hospitals in Israel, along with their medical teams, are currently delivering emergency medical care and trauma treatment to individuals affected by the ongoing conflict.

  • Zakat Foundation of America has maintained a presence in this volatile region for more than two decades. In collaboration with local partners, they are committed to delivering both enduring support in the form of education, healthcare, and food sustainability, as well as immediate aid. Zakat is actively engaged in offering emergency relief, which encompasses medical supplies, hygiene kits, food, warm blankets, and clothing.

  • Project HOPE has deployed emergency response personnel to the region to address urgent needs in Israel and Egypt. The Staff are also coordinating with local authorities, UN agencies, and civil society to coordinate the delivery of aid for both Israel and Gaza.

  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is asking for donations to help children in Gaza and Israel. 

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Also, consider donating to, 

  • Save the Children is asking for donations to their emergency fund to help kids affected by conflict. 

  • The Red Cross is also accepting donations for their humanitarian efforts in Gaza and Israel.

Nurses and doctors who volunteer in Gaza and Israel will be traveling into an active conflict zone to provide care. This brings additional challenges and risks. However, many aid groups provide training, security, lodging, and other support for volunteers to help them focus on providing medical care. For some nurses, the immense need and opportunity to save lives makes the risks worthwhile.

With a dire need for medical care in the conflict zone, every nurse and doctor who can volunteer or donate can help save lives in this humanitarian crisis. Although the situation is complex, coming together to provide health and healing is a powerful act that transcends borders and boundaries.

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