Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UK steps up humanitarian aid commitments to Gaza [December 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 21 December 2023.

The Foreign Secretary will visit Al Arish as the UK continues to urge Israel to increase the flow of aid into Gaza through as many routes possible.

  • Foreign Secretary to visit Al Arish to see first-hand the impact of lifesaving UK aid to the people of Gaza
  • UK supporting delivery of humanitarian land corridor from Jordan into Gaza via Kerem Shalom crossing, with 750 tonnes of life-saving food aid arriving in the first delivery yesterday (20 December)
  • Mark Bryson-Richardson announced as the Foreign Secretary’s Representative for Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, with a particular focus on the UK’s humanitarian effort in Gaza

The Foreign Secretary will see first-hand the impact of UK aid on a visit to Al Arish, near the Egypt-Gaza border today (21 December), as the UK calls for significant more aid to reach Gaza, through as many routes as possible.

David Cameron will meet with representatives from the Egyptian Red Crescent Society, who are coordinating the relief effort at the Rafah crossing, and hear how the UK’s contributions of shelter, blankets and other vital equipment has been providing much needed relief to the people of Gaza.

Together with international partners, the UK is increasing efforts to get greater humanitarian aid into Gaza. The UK will support United Nations World Food Programme to further enhance the new humanitarian land corridor from Jordan through Kerem Shalom.

The first direct World Food Programme aid convoy, made up of 46 trucks, travelled from Jordan to Gaza yesterday (20th December) carrying over 750 tonnes of food aid. A £2 million contribution from the UK will help to get further emergency food assistance to those who need it most.

We continue to urge Israel to increase the flow of aid into Gaza through Kerem Shalom and are exploring other routes to increase aid reaching Gaza, including maritime options.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said:

The UK is committed to alleviating the suffering of people in Gaza. We have already trebled our aid commitment to Palestinians this year and the Prime Minister and I urged Israel at the highest levels to open Kerem Shalom in order to get significantly more aid into Gaza.

We need to use as many routes as possible to achieve this goal. We have supported Jordan to deliver a new humanitarian land corridor from Jordan into Gaza and continue to call for significantly more aid to be allowed into Gaza through Kerem Shalom.

I am delighted to appoint Mark Bryson-Richardson as the UK’s Humanitarian Representative. He is a highly skilled diplomat official with extensive experience working in the region and will drive forward this vital work.

The UK is stepping up its commitment for greater humanitarian aid and fuel to reach civilians in Gaza by appointing Mark Bryson-Richardson as the Foreign Secretary’s Representative for Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Mark is a former UK Ambassador to Iraq and previously headed the Department for International Development’s Middle East and North Africa Directorate and the cross-Government Stabilisation Unit.

So far, the UK has announced it will spend almost £60 million in additional humanitarian funding in Gaza, trebling our existing annual budget to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). UK aid will make a huge difference on the ground in Gaza, for example we will be providing coverage kits which are temporary shelters including plastic sheeting and blankets that are desperately needed in the harsh winter weather. The UK continues to reiterate the urgent need for more humanitarian pauses and sustained access for more aid and fuel to reach civilians in need.

The most recent package of £30 million funding, announced by the Foreign Secretary on his last visit to the region, has been allocated to trusted partners on the ground. This includes UNRWA, UNICEF, the OCHA Pooled Fund and the British Red Cross to support the Egyptian and Palestinian Red Crescent Societies, who are providing vital food, shelter and medical supplies.

Find out more about the Foreign Secretary’s retu