Press release

New UK support for civilians caught up in Gaza violence

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

In response to continuing violence in Gaza, the UK is providing emergency support to help tens of thousands of Palestinians.

The UK will provide more than £5 million in emergency support to help tens of thousands of people affected by the violence in Gaza.

This includes £2 million in new funding announced by Prime Minister David Cameron today for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s (UNRWA) Flash Appeal. This will provide emergency assistance to more than 84,000 people who have been driven out of their homes.

A further £3 million in funding will be brought forward to help the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) respond to the worsening situation and funding will also be reallocated to help rebuild UNRWA schools that are being used as shelters.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

The escalation in violence has had a devastating impact on civilians. More than 500 Palestinians are now reported to have been killed with at least 83 children among the dead and more than 100,000 people have had to flee their homes.

This new support from the UK will provide lifesaving food, shelter and clean water to those in desperate need as a result of the fighting.

We must see an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire to prevent further civilian loss of life, followed by a return to peaceful negotiations.

The UK government has said that all sides must adhere to International Humanitarian Law and humanitarian supplies must be allowed to reach people in need. The security of both Israelis and Palestinians remains paramount, but restrictions that damage the economy and prospects for ordinary people in Gaza must be eased. A prosperous and stable Gaza is firmly in Israel’s security interests.

Notes to editors

  1. In addition to those killed as a result of the fighting, over 3,000 people have been injured, including 904 children and 533 women. There has been major damage to vital infrastructure leaving 1.2 million without access to adequate water and sanitation facilities and 80% of the population with less than four hours of electricity a day.
  2. The UK will provide £2 million in new funding to help UNRWA provide immediate emergency assistance for over 84,000 people who are seeking shelter in their schools. This will enable UNRWA to provide non-food item packages to 7,800 families including mattresses, blankets, tarpaulins, diapers, hygiene items and cooking equipment.
  3. The UK is also bringing forward £3 million in funding to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide emergency health care and to rehabilitate crucial water wells and pipelines.
  4. The UK is also re-allocating £200,000 to repair UNRWA schools that are being used as shelters by people who have fled the fighting.
  5. The UK is the third largest donor to UNRWA’s General Fund which provides basic health, education and social protection services (including food assistance and cash transfers) to Palestinian refugees.

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