Of these, two flights from Brindisi, Italy, are scheduled to depart today and tomorrow carrying 55 tonnes of items donated from the EU to the World Food Programme. The cargo includes logistical items such a mobile storage unit, cold-chain supplies and other items that will increase the capacity of humanitarian organisations to ensure a more efficient response for people in Gaza.
A further three flights are due to depart next week from Bucharest carrying shelter material, such as tents and mattresses, donated by Romania. The remaining flight will depart from Ostende, Belgium later this month carrying supplies from UN agencies and other humanitarian partners.
In total, this brings EU air bridge flights to 14 in the past weeks with over 550 tonnes of emergency aid for the people of Gaza being transported to Egypt for quick deployment across the Rafah border crossing point.
We are witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip. While the European Commission has quadrupled its humanitarian funding in the last month, we are also providing logistical support to our humanitarian partners on the ground, including by running an EU humanitarian air bridge operation to Egypt, transporting essential humanitarian supplies intended for the people in Gaza. But the biggest challenge for the Gazan civilian population as well as our humanitarian partners is a dramatically insufficient and unsafe access of humanitarian aid. I cannot reiterate enough how urgent it is that the warring parties finally heed the numerous calls to ensure unrestricted and sustained humanitarian access, including desperately needed fuel to run hospitals, bakeries, water stations and humanitarian action. And I most deeply deplore the extremely high number of deaths among aid workers there. To ensure their safety during their lifesaving efforts, there is no way around but for warring parties to most rapidly clearly define and respect meaningful humanitarian pauses.
Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management
The EU has quadrupled its humanitarian assistance to Gaza in 2023 to over €100 million, aiming to enable our partners to continue their invaluable humanitarian work.
The European Council Conclusions, adopted on 26 October, called for continued, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access and aid to reach those in need through all necessary measures including humanitarian corridors and pauses for humanitarian needs.
The EU has launched this Humanitarian Air Bridge operation in aid to the people affected by the crisis, facilitating the delivery of humanitarian cargo supplied by partners.
Since 16 October, 8 flights carrying over 372 tonnes of aid have already reached Egypt. Most of these supplies have already been delivered into Gaza by EU humanitarian partner organisations on the ground.
Furthermore, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated to offer support for repatriation flights from Egypt and Israel.
The EU has been providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in need since 2000, supporting vulnerable families affected by emergencies and shocks.
For More Information
- Publication date
- 10 November 2023
- Representation in Ireland