UK Government pledges more support for Gaza

Thank you to everyone who has contacted their MP to call for urgent action to address Gaza’s humanitarian emergency. Over 1,000 emails were sent, creating important pressure on the UK government to take action to save lives in Gaza. If you have not yet taken part, click here to help us reach 1,500 emails.

In August, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) warned of Gaza’s humanitarian emergency. UN Secretary-General António Guterres echoed this, recently stating that Gaza is experiencing "one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that [he has] seen in many years.”

Amid severe electricity shortages, hospitals in Gaza have cut back on all but the most essential services and 35% of essential medicines are completely out of stock. Water treatment and desalination plants can only operate minimal services, and two thirds of the shoreline is now dangerously polluted. Access to treatment outside of Gaza is also severely restricted, with Israel not granting a permit for 45% of patients seeking to travel for medical appointments in September, and a reduction in the granting of financial coverage for referrals from the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

UK government responds

Last week 60 Parliamentarians from all major parties, including many who had been contacted by our supporters, wrote to Alistair Burt, Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DfID). They urged the Government to provide immediate relief to Gaza by funding the UN’s emergency humanitarian appeal; to pursue accountability for violations of international law in Gaza; and to help bring the closure to an end.

The next day, the Government pledged to provide £1.9 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Gaza. The funding will help to address critical water, sanitation and hygiene needs. Alistair Burt said the funding will benefit approximately one million people living in Gaza.

Keep going!

Humanitarian aid is an important immediate step in addressing Gaza’s humanitarian emergency. However there is still much work to do.

The Government must ensure that its aid to Gaza not only helps address immediate needs, but also invests in the long-term development of essential services such as healthcare.

Resolving Gaza’s protracted humanitarian crisis also requires diplomatic action. The UK must work to ensure that international humanitarian law is strictly adhered to in the occupied Palestinian territory. This includes helping to end Israel’s 10-year closure of Gaza, which the International Committee of the Red Cross considers “collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law”.

Please continue to share and support MAP’s ‘Write to Your MP’ action to help urge the UK Government to commit to supporting a political solution to the humanitarian emergency Gaza is experiencing.