The European Union Delegation to Egypt

European Union supports relief to victims of violence in Palestine

Jerusalem, 21/05/2021 - 19:45, UNIQUE ID: 210521_12
Press releases

In response to the ongoing violence across Palestine and the high number of civilian casualties, the European Commission is contributing €200,000 in humanitarian aid for emergency relief to 54,000 people.

The EU-funding will support the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in delivering immediate assistance through 24/7 emergency medical services in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It will help restock supplies of medicines and equipment in warehouses, hospitals and first aid posts, and ensure ambulance services can continue their essential work.

5000 Palestinian Red Crescent volunteers, including members of the emergency medical teams who have been deployed since the start of crisis, will be insured and provided with protective equipment. This is needed to ensure their safety and provide cover in a context of extreme violence and limited capacities to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The funding is part of the EU's maximum contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It will contribute to replenishing the DREF which released CHF1 million (approx. €910,000)

The escalation of violence witnessed in recent days has left a trail of destruction, displacement and death in its wake. As of 20 May, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that 230 Palestinians have been killed, including 65 children and 39 women, and 1760  injured. 120,000 people have fled their homes across Gaza and are sheltering in schools or with other families.

An end of violence is needed to allow people to seek medical care and humanitarian workers to move freely and safely to assess needs and deliver aid. All parties to the conflict must show restraint, ensure the protection of civilians and respect international humanitarian law.


The European Union and its Member States are the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.

Through the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the European Union provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.

The European Union is signatory to a €3 million humanitarian delegation agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the IFRC Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF usually support smaller emergencies and disasters or provide initial funding before emergency appeals are launched for large-scale operations.

to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to “small-scale” disasters – those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal. For this DREF, see:

The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF.  For small and medium-scale disasters or to provide initial funding before emergency appeals are launched for large-scale operations, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors.