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Government announces €500,000 in emergency funding for Gaza

The Government today announced funding of €500,000 for the United Nations’ emergency appeal for families affected by the devastating conflict in Gaza.

The funding will provide urgently-needed food, shelter and healthcare to thousands of families, many of whom have had to flee their homes.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, stated:

“I totally condemn the major escalation in violence and civilian casualties which we are now witnessing on the ground in Gaza and Israel. The Irish Government has consistently called for an immediate ceasefire in order to avoid further loss of life and suffering. This is now more imperative than ever in light of the developments over the weekend. The people of Gaza and Israel have the right to live in peace and security and without the threat of indiscriminate violence.

“I am extremely concerned and tomorrow I will meet EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels to discuss the conflict. Ireland is committed to working with our EU and international partners to achieve a diplomatic resolution to this crisis.”

Minister of State for North South Co-operation, Trade Promotion and Development, Sean Sherlock TD, said:

“The assault on Gaza has had a devastating effect on the civilian population. Ireland is providing €500,000 to the United Nation’s Emergency Flash Appeal to meet the urgent need for emergency shelter, food and medical aid. Ireland is also supporting the UN’s Emergency Response Fund in the occupied Palestinian territory which provides support for humanitarian activities at the onset of sudden emergencies.”

“This emergency response to the current crisis is in addition to Ireland’s broader programme of assistance to the Palestinian people, which amounts to over €10 million annually, and includes support to the United Relief and Works Agency’s general fund, the Palestinian Authority and civil society organisations.”

Note to editors:

Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Ireland’s support to the Palestinian people over more than two decades reflects the Government’s longstanding commitment to justice for the Palestinian people and to the development of a viable, sovereign Palestinian state.

Ireland’s total funding to the Palestinian people in 2013 amounted to €10.7 million.

This funding addresses both humanitarian and development needs; providing emergency assistance to the most vulnerable while also supporting the Palestinian Authority in public service delivery and civil society organisations in advocating for human rights.

Since 2005, Ireland has provided €35.65 million to the United Relief and Works Agency’s General Fund which provides the full range of social services including health and education services, to Palestinian refugees across its five areas of operation, including Gaza.

Ireland has also been a generous supporter of UNRWA’s Gaza Emergency Appeals with over €4.6 million in humanitarian assistance provided since 2006.