SEK 150 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza
The Government has presented a new package of humanitarian aid in light of the developments in Gaza. The aid, which amounts to SEK 150 million, aims to meet the most urgent needs and focuses on women and children.
“The humanitarian needs in Gaza are immense. Sweden’s aid goes to trusted humanitarian actors on the ground who assist civilians in need of help and work according to humanitarian principles. It is now important to attain continuous, prompt, secure and unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza. At the same time, there is no question Sweden stands behind Israel’s right to defend itself in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell.
The humanitarian aid is divided between the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which work onsite in Gaza and are ready to expand their activities.
“For the Sweden Democrats and the Government, it is important to back Israel unconditionally in defending itself against Hamas and at the same time prioritise humanitarian disaster aid to civilians over other forms of aid. We will closely monitor where the aid is going so that it is used appropriately,” says Aron Emilsson (SD), Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
“Suspending development assistance to Palestine was the right decision to ensure that Swedish tax revenue does not go to actors who do not unconditionally condemn Hamas or who carry out violent act against Israel. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is acute. It is therefore important that our humanitarian aid is aimed at easing the civilian suffering,” says Gudrun Brunegård (KD), aid policy spokesperson.
“The humanitarian needs are great, and Sweden must do what it can to reduce the suffering of civilian Palestinians. Israel has a self-evident right to defend itself and a right to strike back against military targets. The occupation of Gaza by Hamas and their clear violations of international law by using civilian buildings for military purposes and ordinary Palestinians as human shields must stop,” says Joar Forssell (L), foreign policy spokesperson.
The aid from Sweden will help cover basic necessities such as food, water, medicines and hygiene products. It will also help these organisations’ work in emergency medical care, psychosocial support and support for compliance with international humanitarian law. The focus is on the needs of women and children in particular.
No Swedish aid will go to Hamas or other groups listed as terrorist organisations.
The aid will be distributed as follows:
- United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) – SEK 80 million
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) – SEK 30 million
- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) – SEK 20 million
- International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – SEK 20 million