Statement by Administrator Samantha Power
The United States welcomes the pause in hostilities in Gaza as an opportunity to ramp up the safe delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in grave need and facilitate the release of hostages captured by Hamas after 48 harrowing days of captivity.
With approximately 1.7 million people internally displaced and 2.2 million people requiring humanitarian assistance, the scale of the humanitarian needs in Gaza is staggering. This pause, a direct result of U.S. diplomacy with our partners in the region, will allow humanitarian organizations to deliver food, medicine, water, and other vital aid to civilians and facilitate the evacuation of sick, injured, and other vulnerable individuals facing extremely dire conditions.
It is both urgent and imperative that lasting mechanisms be put in place to significantly accelerate the pace of sustained aid into Gaza. The United States continues to coordinate with the Governments of Israel and Egypt, the UN, and other international actors to move humanitarian assistance and personnel into Gaza. To date, the United States has delivered nearly 500,000 pounds in food assistance to the region for Gaza, and as the largest donor to the UN’s humanitarian efforts in Gaza, we are urging the international community to step up and fulfill commitments toward the UN flash humanitarian appeal. The United States will continue to do everything we can to alleviate the suffering of civilians and get life-saving aid to those in need, and we will continue to emphasize to the parties the critical importance of protecting civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law.
The pause will also be critical to protect the humanitarians who are delivering this aid. The conflict has had a devastating toll on humanitarian workers, with more than 100 staff from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) killed –the highest number of deaths of UN workers of any conflict in history. The United States is profoundly grateful to the many experienced humanitarians operating in Gaza at great personal risk, and I thank them for their steadfast dedication to saving lives in such challenging circumstances.