‘The UN has declared an emergency in Gaza. A large number of civilians have been wounded, and there is an urgent need to increase the capacity of hospitals and ambulance services. Norway is sending NOK 30 million in emergency aid to Gaza,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
There is a great need for humanitarian aid in Gaza. Since the conflict started, it has become more difficult to transport goods into Gaza. There is a particular need for hospital supplies, ambulance services and bomb shelters. At the same time, the UN and other humanitarian personnel have restricted freedom of movement because of the security situation.
‘It is extremely important that Israel eases the restrictions on movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza so that the humanitarian situation can improve. I also call on Egypt to open its borders for humanitarian purposes,’ said Mr Brende.
Norway is increasing its humanitarian support as a direct result of the ongoing conflict. The funds are to be channelled through the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the UN and NGOs that can provide emergency aid to Gaza’s civilians quickly and efficiently.
Norway provided NOK 120 million for humanitarian measures in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza earlier this year. In addition, Norway is one of the largest donors of development assistance to Palestine, and chairs the international Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) donor forum.
‘The humanitarian needs will increase if the conflict continues. As chair of the AHLC, I urge all parties to do their part so that we can quickly get in place measures to help the civilian population in Gaza.
‘It is also crucial that both sides respect their obligations under international humanitarian law on the protection of civilians in situations of armed conflict. As the strongest military power in the conflict, Israel bears a particular responsibility. The consequences for civilians are completely unacceptable,’ said Foreign Minister Brende.