Gaza humanitarian crisis: Switzerland releases CHF 90 million in aid for the region

Local news, 22.11.2023

In view of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, Switzerland will allocate CHF 90 million (close to USD 102 million) in humanitarian aid to the Near East. CHF 70 million will be disbursed in the oPt and CHF 20 million in the region. 

Palestinian child injured and rushed to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza Strip
Palestinian child injured and rushed to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza Strip © World Health Organization

This aid package comes in addition to the CHF 20 million – including CHF 10 million for UNRWA – that Switzerland had already allocated to cover humanitarian needs in the Near East in 2023.

Funds have already been released and will be disbursed over the coming weeks, including to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and Swiss NGOs in the medical sector.

Basic humanitarian goods such as water, food and medical care, as well as the fuel needed for humanitarian aid, must be allowed into Gaza and protection for their distribution must be ensured to mitigate the dire humanitarian situation of the Gazan population. Switzerland underlines the importance of humanitarian pauses in order to provide the population with urgently needed assistance.

While Switzerland welcomes the fact that since 21 October a number of trucks carrying relief supplies have been able to cross the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza every day, the number is too small to meet the humanitarian needs. Switzerland is therefore calling for the quantity of aid delivered to Gaza to be increased in order to meet the high humanitarian needs.

On top of this additional credit, Switzerland has actively engaged in various platforms as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council to convey these messages. Switzerland recalls that the civilian population must be protected at all times and that all parties to the conflict must respect International Humanitarian Law.