Humanity Matters to send $85k of relief supplies to Gaza

Volunteers Ustaz Muslim Ahmad (far left), 30, a Community Engagement and Youth Development officer at Al-Muttaqin Mosque, and Dennis Khoo, 54, secretary-general of the International Multi Cultural Organisation, getting relief items ready for dispatch
Volunteers Ustaz Muslim Ahmad (far left), 30, a Community Engagement and Youth Development officer at Al-Muttaqin Mosque, and Dennis Khoo, 54, secretary-general of the International Multi Cultural Organisation, getting relief items ready for dispatch to Gaza at a Geylang factory yesterday.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Local organisation Humanity Matters has sourced four tonnes of relief supplies worth $85,000 to send to Gaza in response to an international appeal for aid to the region.

The relief items, which will be dispatched to Cairo, Egypt, this week, include fluid-resistant surgical respirators, surgical gloves, high-risk gowns, surgical goggles and body-cleansing wet wipes.

Eight units of oxygen concentrators, toys and fleece blankets for residents in the region also form part of the relief package.

A spokesman for Humanity Matters, a humanitarian interfaith organisation set up in 2019, said 10 volunteers from the initiative packed the relief items yesterday while observing safe distancing measures. They donned N95 masks, sanitised their hands, and worked in groups of two in demarcated spaces to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The items were sorted into three categories - healthcare, hygiene and comfort products.

In a statement yesterday, Humanity Matters said the relief items would support vulnerable individuals and healthcare workers in Gaza. "Given the high number of injured, sick, displaced, and pregnant, plus the ongoing Covid-19 (pandemic), Humanity Matters strives to support healthcare units - especially the front-line healthcare workers at hospitals, medical centres and ambulances - as they tend to the many in need," the statement read.

A truce between Hamas and Israel, mediated by Egypt, took hold on May 21 after the region experienced the worst violence in years. Reuters reported that Israeli aerial bombardment of the densely populated Gaza strip killed 232 Palestinians, damaged thousands of homes and disabled critical infrastructure. Hamas rocket attacks killed 12 people in Israel and wounded hundreds.

Humanity Matters was supported in the relief initiative by organisations including the Taoist Mission Singapore, Fu Mei Gong, the Association of Muslim Lawyers, Young Sikh Association, Sree Narayana Mission, and International Multi Cultural Organisation.

The relief cargo scheduled to be airlifted from Singapore to Cairo this week will be transferred over land by the Egyptian Red Crescent Society to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Gaza.

Members of Humanity Matters have organised similar relief missions to Gaza in 2009 and 2012.

The International Multi Cultural Organisation's secretary-general, Mr Dennis Khoo, said: "As we are struggling with Covid-19 in Singapore, I cannot imagine how it must be coping with a pandemic and conflict. Sunday's relief packing provided us an opportunity to work alongside other faith communities to serve the larger community in need - especially in times of crisis, it is important to have avenues for us to come together and be united as one humanity."

Malavika Menon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2021, with the headline 'Humanity Matters to send $85k of relief supplies to Gaza'. Subscribe