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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
News article8 December 2023Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)

EU announces €125 million in initial humanitarian aid for Palestinians for 2024

View from a hole in a building, in the background more destructed buildings.
© UNRWA

 

As the humanitarian situation continues to worsen in the Middle East, the Commission will provide €125 million in humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people in 2024.

This new funding will support humanitarian organisations working in both Gaza and the West Bank.

In Gaza, where the humanitarian needs are at an all-time high, the focus will be on life-saving emergency response, and restoring access to basic needs like water, food, healthcare, shelter, and sanitation. The humanitarian response will also prioritise the protection of the most vulnerable groups, psychosocial support and education in emergencies.

In the West Bank, where many Palestinian communities are at risk of displacement, or already forcibly displaced, EU-funded humanitarian projects will provide protection services, such as legal aid or material assistance to people affected by settler violence, confiscation of private property or loss of livelihoods, and will support their access to basic services and education in emergencies.

EU-funded humanitarian assistance is provided in line with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. It is delivered through the UN humanitarian agencies, non-governmental organisations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as many local aid organisations partnering with them.

With each passing day, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens. In response, the Commission has rapidly mobilised its wide set of emergency response tools.

With a total of 30 humanitarian air bridge flights organised, already 1,000 tonnes of assistance have been sent to the people in need in Gaza.

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: "Lives in Gaza are hanging by a thread. There is profound concern around the world at such intense human suffering in such a short space of time. The consequences of this destruction will take years to mend. At a time when coherent emergency response is more important than ever, the EU is allocating €125 million in new humanitarian funding for the Palestinians in 2024. And I will not tire of repeating my call to respect International Humanitarian Law. Civilians and critical structures must be protected at all times."

"The United Nations Security Council, in its Resolution 2712, called for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days. This needs to happen now so that hostages can be released and humanitarian workers can resume their life-saving operations at a scale necessary to match the massive humanitarian needs across Gaza," Lenarčič explained.

"Millions of lives are at stake, and we cannot fail these people in need. It is imperative moreover to support and respect the vital role of the United Nations in providing and coordinating humanitarian assistance," he concluded.

Background

The EU has been providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in need since 2000, supporting people affected by emergencies and shocks.

The full-scale military operation, following the Hamas terror attack of 7 October, along with the complete siege on Gaza imposed by the Israeli Government, has brought the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza to a catastrophic level for the 2.2 million population.

In response to the escalation of violence in the Middle East, European Commission quadrupled its humanitarian funding. This brought the total of humanitarian funding allocated to Palestinians in 2023 to €103 million.