After decades of unresolved crisis, the humanitarian situation of Palestinians is dire.
2022 has been the deadliest year since 2005, with 209 Palestinians killed, including 36 children. Palestinians in the West Bank are denied adequate housing, access to services while subjected to forced evictions and movement restrictions.
In Gaza, recurrent cycles of hostilities, greater divisions and a blockade have considerably worsened people’s living conditions. As a long-standing humanitarian donor, the EU responds to the population’s most pressing needs.
What are the needs?
Some 2.1 million Palestinians, out of 5.3 million, need humanitarian assistance.
In the Gaza Strip, the economy has stagnated in great part due to a blockade imposed since 2007. Over 80% of the population depends on aid due to access restrictions and hostilities, which have undermined Gaza’s economy.
The impact of these restrictions is compounded by recurrent hostilities, a chronic energy crisis and the internal Palestinian divide. Trapped in a downward cycle of poverty, unemployment and food insecurity, people have limited access to health care, safe water, and electricity.
The West Bank saw an alarming increase in violence, demolitions, evictions, and movement restrictions in 2022. Out of 209 Palestinian deaths in 2022, 155 were in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Some 800,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, Hebron H2 area and Area C – an Israeli-controlled area covering over 60% of the West Bank – need better access to essential services such as water, health care, and education.
Homes and other vital infrastructure are routinely demolished, and inhabitants are evicted by force. This is due to the violence, intimidation, and rejection of building permits.
Schools continue to be damaged or demolished. Palestinian students are routinely harassed on their way to school, hampering their access to education.
Recently, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has led to a steep increase in food and fuel prices.
How are we helping?
In 2022, the EU released over €26.5 million in humanitarian funding for Palestinians in need. Of this amount, €2.1 million are external contributions from Italy, Spain, Finland, and France.
In the Gaza Strip, we provide vulnerable families affected by sudden emergencies and shocks with cash assistance, helping them cover their basic needs. Our assistance includes protection, safe education for children, and health care.
We prioritise improving care for victims of violence, including trauma care for the injured. Our funding better prepares the health system for a sudden surge due to disasters, conflict and public health emergencies. It also helps to upgrade water and sanitation systems in health facilities.
In the West Bank, specifically in Area C, East Jerusalem and Hebron H2, the EU and several Member States support a consortium of humanitarian partners. They protect communities at risk of forcible transfer because of demolitions, evictions, and settler violence.
EU humanitarian partners provide emergency assistance, legal aid, and access to essential services. We also help improve the living conditions of communities that are barred from accessing or upgrading basic services. For example, they receive 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 helps Palestinian children get schooled in a safe and conducive environment despite the many obstacles.
The EU also helps strengthen health services to allow essential primary health care and emergency medical services to continue. In addition, we improve 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 Movement, and non-governmental organisations.
Since 2000, the EU has provided more than €853 million 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: 07/03/2023
Facts & figures
2.1 million people need humanitarian assistance in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
579,000 school aged children need access to education.
7,600 internally displaced people after the escalation in Gaza in May 2021.
EU humanitarian funding:
Over €26.5 million in 2022
More than €853 million since 2000