Words: Dylan Murphy
It comes amid calls for a ceasefire and brings Ireland’s support to the people of Palestine in 2023 to €29 million.
Yesterday, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Micheál Martin revealed that €13 million was being made available in additional funding for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.
€10 million arrives as additional core funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency which provides essential services to 5.7 million Palestine refugees in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Meanwhile, €3 million goes to the UN office for Humanitarian Affairs’ Occupied Palestinian Territories Humanitarian Fund.
The news came during a session in the house to specifically discuss Palestine.
Speaking yesterday, Mr Martin said, “The government has also made clear that we support an immediate humanitarian pause, or humanitarian ceasefire, to give space to establish humanitarian corridors to meet the immediate needs of all civilians in Gaza.”
Speaking on the announcement, the Tánaiste said, “We are witnessing tragic and shocking events in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory in the aftermath of the heinous attack by Hamas on Israel. I have said repeatedly that there should be a humanitarian ceasefire to meet the urgent basic needs of the people in Gaza. It is essential that humanitarian relief is provided to those who need it.
“This funding from Ireland will help the UN and others provide essential support to extremely vulnerable people, in particular those in Gaza who are dealing with acute and severe challenges.
“Ireland is a longstanding supporter of the critical work undertaken by UNRWA with and on behalf of Palestine refugees, and we remain firmly committed in our political and financial support to the Agency in these deteriorating circumstances. I am acutely aware of how urgently funding is needed by UNRWA following my call with Commissioner General Lazzarini on 16 October. He articulated in the clearest terms that the situation unfolding in Gaza is a humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented magnitude.
“UNRWA plays a vital role in delivering critical services such as healthcare, education, humanitarian relief and social services. Ireland remains a committed partner of the Agency.
“Providing €3 million in assistance to the Occupied Palestinian Territories Humanitarian Fund will also address the escalating humanitarian needs by enabling rapid deployment of aid, particularly in life-saving sectors that have been hit hardest by the current conflict including health, shelter, food security and protection.”
It comes as large numbers of people staged a protest outside the Leinster House complex in Dublin yesterday.
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