On Wednesday 25th November, Forward Thinking held an online briefing with Dr Basem Naim, who provided an update on the current context regarding Covid-19 in Gaza and shared perspectives on the recent US election result.
Gaza reported its first cases of community transmission of Covid-19 in August this year. Strict lockdown measures have helped slow its spread. However, the Gazan Ministry of Health is now trying to balance between implementing further restrictions and their debilitating economic and social consequences. Even with the Ministry’s efforts, Dr Naim estimated that there are almost 700,000 positive Covid-19 cases Gaza. The health system is overstretched, and medical supplies are in great shortage. Medical professionals are struggling, and a growing number are falling ill with the virus. Accordingly, there is an urgent need for humanitarian support and assistance in Gaza to deal with the ongoing crisis.
Discussions also explored Palestinians hopes for the new US administration and the process of internal Palestinian reconciliation. Cross-factional talks have been taking place and unity is a priority for leaders in Gaza, however, the process is currently stalled. There are also hopes that a Biden Presidency will resume funding to UNRWA and to reactivate USAID projects in Gaza.