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Order of Malta participates in 77th World Health Assembly, Geneva

Grand Hospitaller Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis: “Humanity has been lost in Gaza”

Grand Hospitaller Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis, representing the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, spoke at the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA77) entitled “All for Health, For All Health” held 29 May in Geneva.

Delegates from around the world endorsed a four-year $11.1 billion global health strategy to promote, deliver and protect the health and well-being of all people, focussing on climate change, ageing, migration, pandemic threats and equity – adapting it to an era of rapid geopolitical, scientific and technological change. The Assembly also hosted a series of strategic round tables. During these sessions, delegates, partner agencies, civil-society representatives and WHO experts discussed current and future priorities for public health issues of global importance.

“Since its establishment, the Order of Malta has dedicated itself to the health and social care of people in need with a network that today has over 13,500 members, 95,000 volunteers and 52,000 doctors, nurses and paramedics in some 120 countries. On Thursday, May 16, I entered the Gaza Strip accompanying the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, H.E.Cardinal Pizzaballa, who was reaching his people in Gaza City for the first time since the war began. It is very difficult to understand what I have seen while keeping in mind the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms health as a fundamental human right,” said Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis, Grand Hospitaller of the Order of Malta. “Our projects aim to protect children and vulnerable people, strongly supported by our Grand Master and Government, and our priority is to ensure clean water, good food and medical care to millions of people worldwide. Unfortunately, in Gaza, and not only there, humanity has been lost.”

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.

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The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.

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The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.