Hundreds of New Wheelchairs Delivered in Gaza
August 22, 2023 | Gaza City — Thanks to a generous donation from the Wheelchair Foundation, Anera recently distributed hundreds of wheelchairs to patients in Gaza. High quality modern wheelchairs are hard to find in Gaza, and those that are available are often too expensive for most families to afford.
This is the largest single wheelchair shipment in Anera’s history – 275 brand new chairs along with spare parts. Anera delivered the shipment to our longtime local partner, the Society of the Physically Handicapped People, located in Gaza City.
Sameer Abu Jayyab, director of the Society, says,
“Wheelchairs play a crucial role in improving the mobility and independence of people with disabilities in Gaza. A wheelchair is paramount not only to enhancing physical mobility but also to uplifting mental well-being. Our job here is to help patients regain an essential aspect of their life.”
Jayyab says that before the donation, the Society did not have enough wheelchairs to accommodate different ages and sizes. Rubber parts on all types of mobility aids can wear out quickly and Gaza lacks the necessary spare parts and expertise to refurbish old wheelchairs. Says Jayyab:
“Procuring wheelchairs is an enduring challenge for us due to the economic and political situation. A less noticeable but equally pressing challenge is the shortage of spare parts. Without the necessary components for maintenance and repair, the lifespan of these wheelchairs is compromised. And it’s distressing when someone is forced to choose between food and wheelchair repairs.”
Mostafa Al-Ghosain, Anera’s medical donations program manager, says,
“It is hard to ship wheelchairs into Gaza. It took us several years to find a donor like the Wheelchairs Foundation to make a donation like this.
“Although import restrictions on wheelchairs can be an impediment, we were able to secure permission because of the relationships we’ve built over many years and our extensive experience complying with the requirements from all relevant authorities. We’re thrilled to get this wheelchairs shipment into Gaza despite all the challenges.”
MOSTAFA AL-GHOSAIN IS AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED NUMBER OF INTERVIEWS
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Since 1968, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Jordan. We mobilize resources for immediate humanitarian relief and for sustainable health, education, and economic development efforts. Our staff are from the communities they serve, navigating the politics that constrict progress to get help where it’s needed most. We will keep building better lives until hope finds its way in the Middle East.