Schallenberg in Israel

Austria: Another ten million euros for Gaza

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28.02.2024 07:03

Austria is now making ten million euros available for the suffering population in the Gaza Strip. A decision to this effect will be taken in the Council of Ministers on Wednesday. The money will be distributed via the Red Cross, the UN Children's Fund UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Specifically, five million of the ten million euros will go to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), three million to UNICEF and two million to the WHO. Since October 7 last year, the country has thus provided a total of 23 million euros for the suffering population in the Gaza Strip. There, 2.2 million people - half of them children - are dependent on humanitarian aid.

Situation is "at boiling point"
Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) is currently visiting the Palestinian seat of government in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. At the start of his four-day trip to the Middle East in Israel, Schallenberg insisted on alleviating the plight of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. The situation there was "at boiling point", he told journalists on Tuesday after a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Israel Katz. The latter assured Schallenberg that further humanitarian corridors would be created.

A solution is also to be found for the more than one million refugees in the southern border town of Rafah before the Israeli military offensive begins there.

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The top priority now is to provide people with urgently needed essential goods such as water, food and medicine.

Vizekanzler Werner Kogler (Grüne)

On the occasion of the Gaza aid decision, Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens) also emphasized that the consequences of Hamas terror "must not result in more and more victims". This would increase the risk of further escalation. "The top priority now is to provide people with urgently needed essential goods such as water, food and medicine. All sides are called upon to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and to protect the civilian population. Aid supplies to Gaza must be allowed to pass through more quickly. A humanitarian ceasefire is the order of the day," said Kogler.

"Don't give a damn about civilians"
Schallenberg also urged a "humanitarian ceasefire", which he intends to advocate in his talks in the region. "The Hamas terrorists don't give a damn about the lives of civilians and are deliberately using them as shields. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is catastrophic, no one can remain indifferent. We are supporting the vital work of international organizations on the ground with a further ten million euros," said Schallenberg.

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