Today, the EU announced €25 million in humanitarian aid to meet the basic needs of vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
Over 2 million Palestinian women, children and men in the Occupied Territories and Gaza Strip require humanitarian assistance. Last year, in less than 2 weeks, 256 Palestinians lost their lives. Among them were 11 children participating in an EU-funded trauma care programme.
The fragile economic situation and the unprecedented financial crisis in the West Bank and Gaza, have resulted in high unemployment rates, limited trade and restricted access to resources. The situation is further worsened by Russia's aggression against Ukraine, resulting in increased food and fuel prices. Some 1.79 million in Palestine suffer from food insecurity of which 1.1 million people are severely food insecure.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “The EU continues to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The newly announced EU humanitarian funding will support Palestinian families' access to basic services and assistance, which is now even more urgent due to the rising food prices and food shortages as a global consequence of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Furthermore, we insist on the full respect for international humanitarian law and condemn the continued evictions of civilians and demolitions of their homes, schools and basic infrastructure. This needs to stop."
Funding announced today will focus on providing healthcare assistance, including mental care for trauma, to those affected by the continued violence, the ramifications of the blockade on Gaza and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding will also focus on improving access to schooling for Palestinian boys and girls to uphold their right to education.
Cash transfers will allow food insecure Palestinian households to access essential goods and services and provide for their basic needs with the dignity of choice.
Some 2.1 million Palestinians, out of 5.3 million, need humanitarian assistance. In Gaza, the blockade and intermittent conflict have crippled the economy, and 63% of the area's population will require humanitarian aid.
Since 2000, the European Union has allocated €852 million in humanitarian aid to help Palestinians in need. In the Gaza Strip, EU funding provides vulnerable families with cash assistance, helping them cover their basic needs, including safe education for children and health care. In the West Bank, EU-funded initiatives provide emergency assistance, protection, and access to essential services.
The needs of the Palestinian people today are as pressing as ever. Gazans are trapped in a cycle of poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity, which is predicted to worsen due to global food shortages in the wake of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. In the West Bank, some 795,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, H2 area, and Area C – an Israeli-controlled area covering over 60% of the West Bank – are restricted in their access to essential goods and services, including water, electricity and education.
To alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable Palestinians, EU humanitarian aid is channelled via the United Nations agencies, Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, and non-governmental organisations.
- Publication date
- 16 May 2022
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)