€3 million in extra humanitarian aid for Gaza

Since the conflict between Israel and Gaza intensified a few days ago, the humanitarian situation there has rapidly worsened. International aid is urgently needed. Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, announced today that the Netherlands is therefore earmarking €3 million extra in funding.

‘Given the fact that Gaza is, in effect, cut off, an escalation of the conflict could have massive humanitarian repercussions. The need is acute, particularly for medical aid,’ said the Minister.

The possibility of sending humanitarian aid was discussed last weekend in a telephone conversation between foreign minister Frans Timmermans and his Palestinian counterpart, Riyad al-Malki.

The Netherlands’ previous general contributions to the refugee agency UNRWA will be raised by €2 million to a total of €15 million. An additional €1 million is being contributed via the Red Cross in order to provide life-saving medical treatment to the wounded. Earlier this year, €5 million was channelled via UNRWA and the World Food Programme (WFP) for Gaza and the West Bank.

The Netherlands recognises Israel’s right to defend itself. Together with the international community, the Netherlands is pressing for a de-escalation of the conflict and advocating a cessation of violence by Hamas and then Israel. Hopes are being pinned on mediation efforts by Egypt.