New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank

Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. 

“The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says. 

“That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 million in humanitarian assistance since the start of the conflict in October 2023.”

This new package of funding will be split evenly between the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF).

“With 2.2 million people on the brink of famine in Gaza, the work of World Food Programme is more important than ever,” Mr Peters says. “The $2.5 million to UNICEF will help support women, children and babies, who are especially vulnerable in Gaza.”

Both UN agencies are also responding to affected communities in the West Bank, including with cash and food assistance.  

“We call on Israel to do more to facilitate faster entry of aid into Gaza by streamlining its inspection processes, opening more border crossings for aid delivery and helping ensure safe passage for those delivering this vital assistance. We also call on Israel to actively facilitate visas for humanitarian workers operating in Gaza and the West Bank, who are key to the delivery of life-saving assistance in extraordinarily challenging circumstances.  

“We are continuing to work with the UN and other donors around the investigation into the extremely serious allegations that a small number of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) staff were involved in the 7 October Hamas terror attacks,” Mr Peters says.

“We recognise the key role of UNRWA in the Gaza and West Bank humanitarian response, so it is important that this investigation is progressed rapidly and comprehensively, and the next steps are identified quickly.”

Editor’s Note

  • New Zealand’s humanitarian contributions now total $15 million. This comprises the following commitments:
  • $2.5 million to UNICEF announced on 2 February 2024
  • $2.5 million to the WFP announced on 2 February 2024
  • $2.5 million to the ICRC announced on 18 November 2023
  • $2.5 million to the WFP announced on 18 November 2023
  • $2.5 million to the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) announced on 17 October 2023
  • $2.5 million to the WFP announced on 17 October 2023

This $15 million in funding is separate to New Zealand’s $1 million annual contribution to UNRWA.