What is France doing to support the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza?


In the face of the critical humanitarian situation of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza, which has been hit hard by bombardments and the lack of electricity, fuel, water and medical supplies, France is putting in place significant humanitarian assistance for the city’s people.

International Humanitarian Conference for the Civilian Population in Gaza: decisive mobilization

On the occasion of the sixth Paris Peace Forum, President Macron gathered the main actors involved in the humanitarian response in Gaza at a conference on 9 November 2023.
This humanitarian conference sought to provide an international response to address the needs and protection of the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip and rally international support on the basis of the needs identified by the United Nations.
The President and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, announced that France would increase its humanitarian assistance for 2023 to €100 million. They also highlighted the importance of working towards a ceasefire and creating the space needed by humanitarian actors.

Closing speech by Catherine Colonna (in French).

France contributing €100 million

In response to the humanitarian emergency in Gaza, the international humanitarian Conference on 9 November, convened by the French President, saw pledges of €1 billion from the participants. France was fully committed, pledging to increase its humanitarian assistance to Gaza’s population to €100 million since the start of this crisis.

The €100 million in humanitarian assistance from the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is as follows:

  • €77 million to support the work of UN agencies, including €54 million paid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for its emergency response in terms of food aid (including water and financial assistance), shelter, healthcare and protection, particularly of women and children, as well as funding for the salaries of UNRWA staff. €13 million goes to the World Food Programme (WFP) for the distribution of emergency assistance;
  • €6 million via the ICRC for its emergency response in the areas of food (including water and financial assistance), shelter, healthcare and protection;
  • €17 million for partner French and international NGOs, via the French Crisis and Support Centre (CDCS), to the sum of €15 million, and via bilateral and European operations (€2 million) for access to basic services (shelter; healthcare; water, hygiene and sanitation; and food security).

Before 7 October 2023 and the Hamas terrorist group’s attack on Israel, France’s CDCS was already financing projects for the Palestinian Territories, totalling €5 million (2022 and 2023), including €2.7 million in the Gaza Strip and €2.3 million for projects currently underway in the West Bank.

France supports an immediate, lasting and sustained humanitarian truce paving the way for a ceasefire.

France has also committed to supporting an immediate, lasting and sustained humanitarian truce paving the way for a ceasefire. This truce is essential to protect civilians, enable the delivery of sufficient aid to meet needs, and to treat wounded civilians.

Delivery of humanitarian freight, in liaison with the European Union

France has sent more than 146 tons of in-kind aid as of 30 November, which has been provided to the Egyptian Red Crescent, the actor designated by the Egyptian authorities to deliver aid to Gaza. Most of this aid has already been delivered to the Gaza Strip for the United Nations and NGOs on the ground. Another 50 tons will also be delivered in early December.

This humanitarian freight was designed to address the needs of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza and primarily includes:

  • Food kits and nutritional supplements;
  • Medical supplies, including emergency kits, medicines, three mobile medical posts, and emergency respirators;
  • Electricity generators and solar lamps.

These operations have been coordinated by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre (CDCS). Freight is sent to the Al-Arish platform in different ways:

  • 4 military flights were organized between 28 October and 24 November, in coordination with the French Ministry for the Armed Forces (65 tons of freight);
  • 3 flights under the EU humanitarian air bridge, on 7, 23 and 30 November (totalling 64 tons);
  • 1 flight on 26 November organized by the Airbus Foundation, in liaison with the CDCS, in support of the WFP (another will be organized under this partnership on 4 December, bringing the total to 75 tons of freight).

France is providing medical support to civilians in Gaza

In addition to medical freight, France is providing medical support to Gaza’s civilian population, in close liaison with the Egyptian authorities. This support is provided in three forms:

  • Deployment of the helicopter carrier Dixmude off the coast at Al-Arish: with 40 hospital beds, it can treat adult patients requiring hospitalization and surgery. A health reserve of 22 medical personnel, including emergency doctors, paediatricians, gynaecologists and nurses, as well as 8 civil security health professionals, boarded the vessel in Cyprus.
  • We are working with the Egyptian authorities on evacuating wounded Palestinian children to France. A total of 50 beds have been made available in French hospitals.
  • We are also supporting the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza through finance and the supply of medicines and medical supplies.

Shipment of more than 700 tons of nutritional supplements for distribution by the World Food Programme

France remains committed, along with its partners, to assisting the civilian population in Gaza. France will ship 705 tons of highly nutritious food provided by Nutriset to the World Food Programme.

  • The first ship, carrying more than 350 tons, set sail for Port Said, Egypt, on December 20 from the port of Le Havre.
  • A second shipment is scheduled for early next week.

Update: December 2023