Even though significantly more aid supplies have crossed the border during the days of the humanitarian pause, the humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire. Following the brutal attack by the terrorist organisation Hamas on the State of Israel and its people on 7 October, the civilian population in Gaza, too, is suffering the consequences of Hamas’ terror. The supply of basic provisions and services for the civilian population has collapsed and hundreds of thousands of people there, including many children, are lacking bare essentials: food, water and medical care. It is therefore important that humanitarian assistance can be distributed to the civilian population in Gaza quickly and without any obstructions. This has been one of the focuses of Foreign Minister Baerbock’s three visits to the region since 7 October.
Foreign Minister Baerbock has announced that Germany will increase its humanitarian assistance for the people in the Palestinian territories.
At a press conference in Amman on 19 October, the Foreign Minister stated:
We are increasing our support for Palestinians, who have also become the victims of this terrorist attack by Hamas. The German Government has decided to increase our humanitarian assistance for the civilian population in Gaza by 50 million euro with immediate effect.
This funding will be used to support international organisations such as the World Food Programme, UNICEF and, above all, UNRWA, so that people in Gaza can be supplied with food. Our message is clear: we will not abandon innocent Palestinian mothers, fathers and children.
The German Government sees the suffering of people in Gaza and has repeatedly increased its humanitarian assistance, most recently on 29 November by 18 million euro. This brings overall assistance in 2023 for the Palestinian territories to 179 million euro, with 106 million euro in new funding since 7 October.
Food, water, medicines and hygiene products
The Federal Foreign Office is working with the United Nations and experienced international aid organisations to get the urgently needed aid to the people in Gaza. Our partners on the ground include the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the World Food Programme and the German Red Cross.
With the humanitarian assistance that is being provided by Germany, the organisations can get basic foodstuffs, medical care and hygiene products to Gaza. Distributed aid includes millet, rice, chickpeas and oil, as well as medical products such as wound dressing material and syringes.
Appointment of Germany’s Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues
Foreign Minister Baerbock has appointed the experienced career diplomat Deike Potzel as Germany’s Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues. In this role, she serves as a counterpart to the US Special Envoy David Satterfield and a central German point of contact for actors in the region. The Special Envoy’s work is embedded in international efforts to mitigate the humanitarian crisis in which Gaza’s civilian population finds itself as a result of Hamas’ terrorist attacks.
As part of humanitarian shuttle diplomacy in the region, the Special Envoy serves as a point of contact for UN organisations (OCHA, UNRWA, WFP, UNICEF) and the ICRC as well as international and regional partners. She is also in close contact with those responsible for humanitarian assistance in the region and our partners’ capitals. Her work builds on Germany’s long-standing humanitarian commitment, as well as efforts for peace and stability in the region.