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EU increases humanitarian aid in Gaza in response to escalating crisis

European Commission - IP/14/881   25/07/2014

Other available languages: FR DE

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 25 July 2014

EU increases humanitarian aid in Gaza in response to escalating crisis

The European Commission is giving an additional €5 million to support emergency relief operations in the Gaza Strip where a humanitarian crisis is becoming more dramatic by the day. The new funding will enable humanitarian organisations to deliver safe drinking water, emergency medical services, basic household items and hygiene kits, as well as food rations.

"I am horrified by the loss of lives and injuries caused to civilians in Gaza," said Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. "It is unconscionable that hospitals and schools, where there are terrified children, women, the sick and the elderly taking shelter, have become military targets. The appalling consequence is that in the last two days children have been killed at the rate of one an hour. It is intolerable that UN premises are subject to attacks."

Commissioner Georgieva urged the parties to the conflict to ensure safe and full humanitarian access. "It is crucial that assistance reaches these people in desperate need."

The crisis in the Gaza Strip is having a dramatic humanitarian impact on the civilian population: the recent escalation of hostilities has caused hundreds of civilian casualties and has displaced 150 000 people.

Since the beginning of this latest outbreak of hostilities the European Commission has refocused its humanitarian assistance in Gaza to respond to the most urgent needs of its people. Today's additional aid brings the Commission's total humanitarian funding in Gaza in 2014 to €23.5 million.

Background

Sixteen days after the start of Israel's 'Operation Protective Edge' the death toll stands at more than 800 and three quarters of the victims are civilians. The massive flow of displaced people is straining the capacity to ensure adequate shelter, food, drinking water and medical care.

Critical infrastructure, including hospitals, health centres and schools, has been severely damaged or destroyed. The attacks on health facilities and personnel are hindering emergency assistance to the sick and injured. An estimated 1.2 million people have no or very limited access to water or sanitation services because of damage to the electricity system or lack of fuel to run generators.

Since 2000 the European Commission has provided €700 million in humanitarian aid to help meet the basic needs of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian Territory. The humanitarian funding for this year comes to €31.6 million, which benefits more than two million people. Two thirds of the 2014 humanitarian funding for the occupied Palestinian Territory goes to food assistance and emergency response and preparedness (primarily in health, water and sanitation and food assistance) in the Gaza Strip.

For more information

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

Factsheet on EU humanitarian work in Gaza:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/aid/countries/factsheets/gaza_en.pdf

Contacts :

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail


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