Humanitarian Assistance

In addition to the long-term development cooperation, Sweden is also providing a large humanitarian assistance to the West Bank and Gaza. In 2016, the humanitarian funding amounted to 540 MSEK. Out of this, 415 MSEK was allocated to UNRWA programme support, which makes Sweden one of the largest contributors to the organisation. In addition to programme support to UNRWA, Sweden provides support to UNRWA’s Emergency Appeals for Palestine for the amount of 30 MSEK.

The humanitarian assistance is governed by the strategy for Sweden's humanitarian aid, the object of which is to save lives, alleviate suffering and uphold human dignity in connection with disaster situations. A challenge for the humanitarian assistance in Gaza and the West Bank is the shrinking of humanitarian space, access and restrictions imposed by Israel regarding the movement of goods and material.

The linkages, so called transition, between the long-term development cooperation effort and humanitarian assistance are increasing. Sweden is for example a major contributor to the Community Resilience and Development Programme (CRDP), an initiative by the Palestinian Authority and UNDP that is channelling funds from humanitarian assistance towards long-term development and state building. The programme is designed to address challenges in Area C and east Jerusalem and will contribute to preventing the erosion of
living conditions of Palestinians living in these areas.

Other examples of humanitarian assistance supported by Sweden include:

  • Support to OCHA for its operational humanitarian co-ordination and strategic planning of humanitarian aid. This support is part of Sida's consolidated support to OCHA.
  • Support to OCHA for its management of the Humanitarian Pooled Fund under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator to address unforeseen humanitarian needs and support humanitarian priorities that are underfunded.
  • Support to the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC). This support includes assistance for protection, detention and International Humanitarian Law as well as health, water and sanitation activities. This support is part of Sida's consolidated support to ICRC. In addition Sweden is also financing the Swedish Red Cross Society for their work and partnership with PRCS in Gaza and the West Bank.
  • Core support to the World Food Programme that is providing food to the most vulnerable non-refugee Palestinians, whose economic situation has worsened as a result of the occupation and its policies.
  • A number of Swedish and International organisations are also being supported. This includes for example Diakonia that receives support for their International Humanitarian Law Resource Center with the aim to protect civilians through promoting compliance with and respect of IHL; the Swedish Mission Council in partnership with the Christian Council for their work with accompaniment programmes; Islamic Relief for their work for unemployed young graduates in Gaza and Norwegian Refugee Council that works with legal aid for victims of displacement.