Beijing, May 21: China says it will offer cash and 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinians caught up in the latest fighting in Gaza. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Friday told reporters that USD 1 million would be provided as emergency humanitarian assistance and another USD 1 million would go to UNRWA, the UN agency that provides vital assistance to the 75 per cent of the enclave’s population who are refugees.
China will “continue to provide humanitarian support within its capacity and actively participate in the reconstruction of Gaza according to the needs of the Palestinian side,” Zhao said at a daily briefing. Palestine-Israel Conflict: Israeli Government, Hamas Agree to Start Ceasefire.
The fighting has brought Gaza’s health care system to the brink of collapse and its COVID-19 vaccination drive, already slow, has stopped, according to WHO’s top official in Gaza, Sacha Bootsma. China has become a major exporter and donor of COVID-19 vaccines, taking a leading role in what some have termed “vaccine diplomacy.” China is a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause but also maintains robust ties with Israel.