MAP CEO selected for TIME’s top 100 most influential people in global health

We at Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) are proud to announce that our CEO, Melanie Ward, has been selected for the TIME100 Health 2024, a new annual list of 100 individuals who most influenced global health this year.

This a prestigious recognition of the work of MAP’s dedicated teams and contribution to the health and dignity of Palestinians. The award comes at a significant moment as we mark our 40th year and continue, despite many challenges, to deliver our largest ever humanitarian response to support Palestinians in Gaza who are facing a plausible risk of genocide.

MAP has been at the forefront of the health and humanitarian response in Gaza, delivering more than $9 million of lifesaving aid to Palestinians so far, with a further $2.5 million worth of supplies on their way right now. With our decades-long presence and locally-led team of staff on the ground, we were uniquely positioned to respond rapidly and at significant scale when Israel’s military onslaught began in October.

Despite working under unimaginable conditions, the expertise and steadfastness of our Gaza team means MAP is one of the last functioning aid agencies on the ground, and one of the only international charities still working in the north.

This recognition also comes at a critical time when Israel’s indiscriminate military bombardment has killed almost 500 healthcare workers, and Israeli forces have attacked almost every hospital in Gaza. MAP and our CEO have been consistently speaking out in international media and to politicians at all levels to call for an end to Israel’s violations against healthcare, and an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

Melanie Ward said: “It is an honour to be one of TIME’s top 100 most influential people in global health. This recognition is for all of MAP’s staff, volunteer medics, partners and supporters. Most of all, it is for our dear Gaza team; incredible Palestinian colleagues who are continuing to bring relief to others in the face of unimaginable horror, extreme danger and massive personal loss.

“Together, we ensured that MAP was the first aid agency to respond as the Israeli military began dropping bombs on Gaza. We are building the biggest life-saving emergency response in MAP’s 40-year history: helping to keep hospitals functioning; rebuilding those which have been shut down; providing primary health care; surveilling and preventing disease; treating malnutrition and supporting the most vulnerable. Crucially, we are one of the only international charities working in the north of Gaza, where people are living in famine conditions.

“Our voice has been heard by almost every reputable international media outlet, the United Nations, the White House, Ambassadors from numerous countries, the UK Parliament and His Majesty King Charles. We will continue to speak out for an immediate and permanent ceasefire; an end to the systematic destruction of the healthcare system in Gaza; and the meaningful reconstruction of all that has been destroyed.

“None of this would have been possible without our supporters, individuals from more than 170 countries across the world, who have come together to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people. I cannot thank them enough. In this most distressing of times, our supporters can be proud to stand on the right side of history.”

Trish Morris, MAP’s President, said: “This is a wonderful and richly deserved honour for Melanie, and for our dedicated and courageous staff who give their all for MAP. Aid work is never easy, but the last seven months have been harrowing and heartbreaking. This has put a much needed smile on our faces. I’m so proud of our teams.”

MAP’s team in Gaza are doing everything they can to provide humanitarian and medical services to Palestinians. Please support our emergency response today.

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