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Denmark to send humanitarian aid to Gaza and West Bank

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Denmark to send humanitarian aid to Gaza and West Bank
Denmark's Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy Dan Jørgensen during a recent visit to Morocco. Photo: Thomas Traasdahl/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark is to increase humanitarian aid for Gaza by an additional 50 million kroner, the country’s foreign ministry said.

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In a statement released on Tuesday, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was making an “extraordinary” initial pledge of 50 million kroner to help the civilian population in the two Palestinian territories.

The decision to ramp up humanitarian aid comes after Denmark earlier announced it was freezing development aid to Palestinian areas following the breakout of war between Hamas and Israel.

READ ALSO: Denmark freezes all Palestinian development aid

The aim of the aid is to help civilians “affected by the drastically deteriorating humanitarian situation”, the ministry said on Tuesday.

The announcement was made prior to news of the explosion at the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City late Tuesday night Danish time, in which a large number of civilians are reported to have been killed.

“The humanitarian situation especially in Gaza is very critical. Therefore, we are increasing the humanitarian emergency aid by 50 million kroner, aimed at meeting the dire needs of the civilian population in a tragic situation,” Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy Dan Jørgensen said in the ministry statement.

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Some 1.3 million civilians of the 2.2 million people who live in Gaza and the West Bank currently need humanitarian aid, according to UN figures. Around a million are thought to have been displaced within the Gaza Strip during the last week, while 2,780 have died in the territory, including 724 children.

The humanitarian situation in the area is dire with shortages of food, water, electricity, fuel and medical supplies all expected to deteriorate further.

“It is important to restore humanitarian access, so humanitarian supplies can enter Gaza. The Danish Government supports the diplomatic efforts on this matter,” the ministry said.

Of the 50 million kroner to be donated by Denmark, 33 million goes to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) while 17 million will be spent supporting the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza, the ministry said.

The humanitarian aid is solely aimed at meeting the basic needs of the civilian population and is therefore excluded from the decision by the government earlier this month to freeze all development aid to Palestine.

Denmark’s regular development aid to Palestine was stopped on October 10th following the attack on Israel by Hamas.

Development aid has been placed on pause while the government reviews the aid to satisfy itself that no Danish money indirectly funds terror organisations involved in the attack on Israel, the government said when announcing that decision.

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