Help continues to pour in for victims trapped in Marawi City amid the fighting between government forces and local members of ISIS. The latest is from the Israeli government, which donated one million pesos worth of medical equipment, medications, and supplies to the Philippine Red Cross, one of the agencies attending to health needs of victims.

Minister for Welfare and Social Services Haim Katz, in behalf of the Israeli government, turned over the assistance to the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv.

The donation consisted of equipment that included an emergency cart, suction machine, portable nebulizer, portable ECG machine, portable Doppler, pulse oximeter, oxygen tank, basic medicine package, emergency medicines and other medical supplies, according to GMA News.

Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ephraim Ben Matityau said his government has been “touched by all the events in Marawi and the effect they brought to the people” in the southern Philippines city.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed us to lend a hand of support to the affected people in Marawi and the surrounding areas,” the ambassador was quoted as saying.

In response, Senator Richard Gordon, concurrent chair of the PRC, said, “We are grateful for the outpouring of support we received from our partners and donors as the Philippine Red Cross continues with its humanitarian efforts for our affected brothers and sisters in the Marawi crisis.”

He said the donation will benefit thousands of evacuees housed in several evacuation centers.

Minister Katz also took the opportunity to thank the Philippines for offering visas to Jews who were fleeing the Holocaust during World War II.

With fighting yet to end in Marawi, thousands of displaced residents continue to experience health problems due to poor sanitation. These include respiratory problems like colds and cough, watery diarrhea, skin allergies, influenza-like diseases and hypertension. Many of these residents are unable to return to their homes and continue to live in cramped evacuation centers.

The Philippine Red Cross is focused on addressing the health needs of displaced residents, particularly medical assistance and supplies, as well as consultations for vulnerable members of the community such as pregnant women, children and the elderly.

“We all hope for the speedy return of the population to their homes and normal life… and that peace and national harmony will finally be restored,” Ambassador Matityao said. MIMS

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