The Swedish humanitarian contribution in West bank and Gaza this year, so far, is SEK 92 million. The interventions respond to humanitarian consequences of the protracted conflict.
Photo: UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan
10 million SEK to humanitarian aid in Gaza
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, has decided to contribute with an additional SEK 10 million of humanitarian funds in Gaza. The contribution is channeled through the UN Emergency Response Fund, a fund for rapid humanitarian response.
– The situation for the residents in Gaza is acute, and the funds will primarily be used for life-saving efforts by organizations that are already in place and are able to act quickly, Peter Lundberg, Head of Humanitarian Assistance at Sida, says.
The number of deaths and injured in Gaza is rising and, according to the UN, three-quarters of the deaths are civilian. Over 100,000 internally displaced people have sought refuge in UN schools. The health care system is severely affected and the water supply of 1.2 million people in Gaza is threatened. The UN estimates that 107,000 children are in need of psychosocial support.
The multi-donor Emergency Response Fund (ERF) can be used by the humanitarian coordination of the UN to quickly respond to urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza. In this way, the UN can to allocate aid according to needs and through the most relevant actors. ERF funds can be used by both the UN and civil society organizations.
– Humanitarian aid is crucial at this stage. It is important that both parties comply with obligations under international humanitarian law and ensure access for humanitarian actors in Gaza. The crisis as such is political and requires political solutions. However, in the long term, the situation of the population in Gaza will change only if the blockade is lifted, Johan Schaar, Head of Development Cooperation in West Bank and Gaza, says.
The importance of political solutions and the end to movement and access restrictions was also highlighted recently by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator.
Last year Sida contributed SEK 106 million in humanitarian aid to Palestine. The Swedish support was channeled through UN agencies, the ICRC and international civil society organisations. The Swedish humanitarian contribution in West bank and Gaza this year, so far, is SEK 92 million. The interventions respond to humanitarian consequences of the protracted conflict and occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, including efforts that promote respect for international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians. The Swedish support to Palestinians through core support to UNRWA amounts to 282 million SEK this year.