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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
View of destroyed buildings.
© United Nations Relief and Works Agency


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

The protracted humanitarian situation of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continues to deteriorate rapidly due to the continued intensification of hostilities after the terrorist attack on Israel, which left more than 1,200 Israelis dead.

The consequent full-scale Israeli military operations, along with the blockade of Gaza, has brought the already dire humanitarian situation there to a catastrophic level for the 2.2 million population resulting in sustained and significant loss of life combined with persistent displacement among civilians.

As a long-standing humanitarian donor, the EU is responding to the population’s most pressing needs. This is done in line with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence.

What are the needs?

According to the de facto authorities, at least 38,193 Palestinians have been killed and at least 87,903 have been injured so far, many more are missing.

Over 1.9 million people, have been internally displaced multiple times amidst intensified Israeli airstrikes, ground confrontations, and recurrent evacuation orders. Many are now left without shelter, forced to seek refuge on the streets, enduring the scorching sun during the day. Due to intense military operations civilian infrastructures have been severely damaged and access to essential services restricted. Persons with disabilities encounter additional barriers due to lack of structured support and assistive devices, restricting their movement and access to essential services. 

Half a million people are at risk of catastrophic hunger, starvation, and acute food insecurity. The risk of famine is escalating due to intense conflict, restricted humanitarian access, and inadequate aid. Malnutrition is widespread across all areas of Gaza, posing serious risks to the lives, nutritional wellbeing, and development of children. There has been a significant increase in malnutrition among children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers in Gaza.

Over 1 million people have lost their homes, 13 out of the 36 main hospitals are partially functional, with severe limitations on the types of services they can deliver, and the education system has completely collapsed, leaving all children out of school while educational facilities are serving as shelters for displaced persons.

The conflict in Gaza has particularly and severely impacted children, resulting in around 26,000 children killed or injured, facing lasting physical harm including limb amputations.  These children endure not only physical trauma but also face complex psychological issues, with 1 million in need of mental health and psychosocial support. Some 17,000 children are especially vulnerable in this crisis being unaccompanied or separated from their families.

The security situation for civilians and aid workers continues to rapidly deteriorate. Humanitarian aid missions face serious impediments, highlighting the complex operating environment

Urgent needs include:

  • protection of civilians in line with international humanitarian law, including rapid, unhindered, and safe access of humanitarian aid
  • fuel to run generators of hospitals and desalinate water
  • health services
  • food and nutrition
  • water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • shelter and non-food items
  • education in emergencies
  • cash assistance
View of a destructed part of the city.
© UNRWA, 2023

The humanitarian situation in the West Bank continues to significantly worsen following the outbreak of the war in Gaza. This is due to:

  • rapid settlement expansion and legalization heightening the risk of de facto annexation 
  • mounting Israeli military operations with increased airstrikes
  • intensified search and arrest operations resulting in the detention of over 9,510 Palestinians
  • persistent Israeli settler attacks on Palestinian communities with at least 1,050 settler attacks in the West Bank
  • confrontations between Israeli forces, settlers, and Palestinians, which have resulted in the killing of more than 539 Palestinians (including 131 children) and the injuring of more than 5,420.

Severe movement restrictions imposed on Palestinian communities are impeding access to basic services including health, education, and livelihoods between cities, villages, and rural areas in Area C and beyond.

Since 7 October, 2,368 individuals (including 1,047 children) have been forcibly displaced. 1,208 individuals were displaced during military operations resulting in extensive damage to civilian and public infrastructure, particularly in Area A and B, including refugee camps. Another 1,160 individuals have been displaced due to home demolitions by Israeli Authorities in Area C and East Jerusalem..

As in any other conflict, international humanitarian law must be respected in full to protect civilians and grant unhindered and safe access for humanitarian aid.


How are we helping?

To maintain a lifeline for Palestinians in need, the EU has swifty mobilised €125 million as an initial allocation in humanitarian funding for 2024. In addition, the EU released another €68 million to support the Palestinian population across the region, bringing the total for Palestine to over €193 million in 2024.

In 2023, the EU had released an initial allocation of close to €28 million in humanitarian aid. Following the 7 October events, the EU mobilised an additional €75 million.

Access challenges and security concerns in Gaza have forced humanitarian partners operating on the ground to reduce their operations to a bare minimum.

The EU has also supported Romania in sending more than 88,000 cans of food to Palestinians in need via the Cyprus Maritime Corridor.

Air bridge operations

The EU also launched a Humanitarian Air Bridge operation in aid to the people affected by the crisis.

As of 11 July 2024, a total of 58 flights transported over 2,800 metric tonnes of humanitarian cargo supplied by humanitarian partners, EU-owned stockpile items, and donations from Member States.

In this regard, so far, supplies from Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Italy and Spain have already been transported via Humanitarian Air Bridge flights. Coordination with Member States and partners continues for the further shipment of other life-saving goods.

The aid transported includes nutritional items, shelter and logistical equipment, hygiene kits, and medicines.

Furthermore, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated to offer support for repatriation flights from Israel and to support operations for the maritime corridor from Cyprus to Gaza.

Before 7 October 2023

In the Gaza Strip, the EU has been providing vulnerable families affected by sudden emergencies and shocks with cash assistance, helping them meet their basic needs. The EU’s assistance has included protection, safe education for children, and health care.

In the West Bank, specifically in Area C, East Jerusalem, and Hebron H2, the EU and several Member States are supporting a consortium of humanitarian partners. They protect communities at risk of forcible displacement because of demolitions, evictions, and settler violence.

EU humanitarian partners provide emergency assistance, legal aid, and access to essential services. The EU also helps improve the living conditions of communities that are barred from accessing or upgrading basic services. For example, by providing shelter and safe sources of water.

The EU advocates for compliance with international humanitarian law and the need to uphold human dignity. It condemns the illegal destruction of Palestinian homes, assets and aid infrastructure, and the forcible displacement of populations.

In both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, EU humanitarian funding has helped Palestinian children access schools in safe and conducive environments, despite the many obstacles.

Boy in front of a grocery stall
© NRC/Yousef Hammash

The EU also helps strengthen health services to allow essential primary health care and emergency medical services to continue. In addition, it improves access to water, sanitation, and hygiene for vulnerable communities.

The EU supports numerous humanitarian partners in the occupied Palestinian territories: United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and international non-governmental organisations.

Since 2000, the EU has provided more than €1.1 billion in humanitarian assistance to help meet the basic needs of the Palestinian population.

* The designation of Palestine shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.

Last updated: 12/07/2024

Facts & figures

3.3 million people need humanitarian assistance in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2.3 million in Gaza and 1 million in the West Bank – UN/OCHA Flash Appeal – April 2024)

625,000 students have no access to education since October 2023 (UNOCHA Flash Appeal April 2024)

Over 1.9 million estimated internally displaced people (Gaza) (UN OCHA)

EU humanitarian funding:
€193 million for 2024
€103 million in 2023
More than €1.1 billion since 2000