Skip to content

Sweden’s humanitarian support to Gaza


Due to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Sweden has increased its humanitarian assistance by approximately SEK 520 million since 7 October 2023. Sweden has long been one of the largest donors to several humanitarian actors operating in Gaza.

Fighting between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas has now continued since the attacks carried out by Hamas on 7 October. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is devastating and the needs are acute and immense. The Government considers that an immediate humanitarian ceasefire is necessary. Better humanitarian access must be provided for support to reach those in need.

In the light of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Sweden has increased its humanitarian assistance by approximately SEK 520 million since 7 October 2023.

For support to reach those in need, humanitarian access must be vastly improved. This includes providing additional routes into Gaza and the possibility for safe movement of humanitarian staff and transports to all parts of Gaza. All parties to the conflict have a responsibility under humanitarian law to ensure that the civilian population’s humanitarian needs are met. 

At Sweden’s initiative, more than 30 countries have jointly encouraged Israel to allow increased humanitarian access to Gaza and enable better, more secure and sufficiently large deliveries.

Statement by Minister for International Development Cooperation Johan Forssell 

Together with other donors, Sweden is in dialogue with Israel on this matter.

About support via UNRWA 

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is one of a few organisations with access to the affected areas in Gaza. On 26 January, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) decided to suspend its support to UNRWA in light of serious allegations that some of the organisation’s staff were involved in the terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel on 7 October. Swedish development assistance must maintain the highest standard and never come near terrorism. At the same time, Sida increased its support to other humanitarian organisations in Gaza and the region by more than SEK 30 million. 

On 9 March, the Government decided to disburse SEK 200 million to UNRWA against the backdrop of the acute humanitarian situation in Gaza and UNRWA’s new undertakings within the framework of a conditional assurance to Sweden. UNRWA has agreed to allow independent auditing, strengthen internal supervision and enable additional staff controls. Sweden has received bilateral confirmation of these undertakings from UNRWA, similar to the agreement entered into with the European Commission. Sweden’s continued support is conditional on the measures set out in the statement of assurance. On 15 March, Sida decided to resume its support.

The Government previously allocated SEK 400 million in support to UNRWA for 2024. Additional disbursements will be issued this year as UNRWA makes progress on the measures it has undertaken to carry out to strengthen internal supervision and controls.