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Summary: 17 May 2011, Brussels - European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva has highlighted the dramatic and far-reaching effects of the blockade of the Gaza Strip. As the Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response has just seen for herself, the blockade exacerbates the predicament of a large number of Palestinians, and hinders the flow of humanitarian aid, persons and commercial goods to and from the Gaza Strip.
During her visit to projects in Gaza, funded by the European Union, Commissioner Georgieva underscored the importance of implementing the Agreement on Movement and Access for Gaza. She elaborated: “The blockade maintains people in Gaza in a state of humanitarian vulnerability and dependency. The impediment of movement of people and import and export of goods leaves hardly any prospect for development. For example, it is very difficult to bring construction materials into Gaza, where they are urgently needed to build houses and schools as well as health and sanitary facilities”.
After meeting with Israeli Defence Minister E. Barak in Tel Aviv, together with UN Under Secretary-General Valerie Amos, Commissioner Georgieva said: “The EU and the UN continue to draw attention to the difficult humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and are calling for the immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons. This is in the interest of the people, but can also serve peaceful development and stability. This is the message we conveyed to Israeli Defence Minister E. Barak".
Between 2000 and the start of 2011, the European Commission has provided around €600 million in humanitarian aid for the basic needs of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. In 2010, the Commission's assistance supported the nutrition of 700,000 people, healthcare for 355,000 vulnerable Palestinians, clean water for 340,000 people in Gaza and the West Bank, protection, psychological care for children and adults, shelter and support for Palestinian refugees.
For more information:
Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva’s website:
The Commission's humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Middle East: