14 October 2023

£750,000 to support relief projects in Libya and Gaza.

International Development Minister Christina McKelvie has pledged new funding from the Scottish Government to support projects providing access to clean water, food and shelter in Gaza and Libya.

Ms McKelvie has confirmed the Scottish Government will provide £500,000 towards the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s (UNRWA) flash appeal in response to the ongoing escalation in the Gaza Strip.

The UNRWA’s appeal is urgently seeking funds to respond to the immediate food, health, shelter and protection needs of up to 250,000 people seeking safety in UNRWA shelters in Gaza and another 250,000 Palestine refugees within the community.

A further £250,000 will also be allocated through the Scottish Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF) to support relief efforts in Libya, following deadly flooding in September. More than 4,000 are reported to have died in the flooding and this number is expected to increase with around 10,000 people still missing.    

Ms McKelvie said:

“Our thoughts are with all the innocent people caught in the middle of escalating conflict in Israel and Gaza. The Scottish Government reiterates the call from the First Minister and the UN Secretary-General for a humanitarian corridor to be established so that urgent assistance can be given to those civilians who are trapped, helpless and cannot leave.

“Many thousands of people in Libya are also still dealing with the impact of major flooding following dam collapses in the aftermath of Storm Daniel and our thoughts are also with them and their families, as work to provide essential aid, such as food, clean water and shelter, continues in those areas worst affected.”

UNRWA Director of External Relations and Communications Tamara Alrifai said:

"This generous contribution is an incredibly humane gesture towards tens of thousands of people who are in utter distress in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA is very grateful for the show of support by Scotland and will use every penny to help alleviate the suffering of civilian women, children and men in Gaza.”


First Minister calls for Gaza humanitarian corridor

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) was established by UN General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 to carry out direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees.

The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict.

Responding to humanitarian crises - International development

The Scottish Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF) Panel is made up of eight representatives from leading humanitarian aid organisations in Scotland. The HEF Panel consider a number of factors in deciding where to recommend a response, including humanitarian need and capacity to deliver.

Background Information: 

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.

UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.

UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.


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