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Gaza is a ‘maelstrom of human misery’

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Public services have collapsed and over 1.9 million have now been displaced, she told ambassadors at the Security Council, underscoring the critical need for a full, immediate and complete ceasefire, release of all hostages and unhindered aid across the enclave.

The war has not merely created a humanitarian crisis, it has unleashed a maelstrom of human misery,” she stated.

International humanitarian and human rights laws must be respected by all, Ms. Kaag stressed.

Protection of civilians remains the paramount priorityUNRWA must be allowed to deliver on its mandated role.”

Key political engagement

Ms. Kaag briefed Council members of her continued engagement with Government stakeholders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and key cabinet ministers.

She said that Prime Minister Netanyahu has made commitments to expedite the delivery of essential supplies for water, sanitation, waste management, and medical and educational needs.  

She added that there has also been an increase in the volume of commercial cargo entering Gaza, “albeit irregularly”.  

“We are in discussion to ensure commercial supplies are in line with the immediate needs of the population,” she added.

Framework for aid delivery

Ms. Kaag further noted that Security Council resolution 2720 (2023), which set up the mandate of the Senior Coordinator, established a framework to expedite, streamline and accelerate the delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.

“As expected, this has been fraught with challenges,” she said, underscoring the importance of political will, alongside the enabling environment and conditions on the ground.

She updated ambassadors on progress towards the establishment of a Mechanism for monitoring and verification of humanitarian assistance, noting that UN monitors are preparing to deploy to its newly set up offices in Gaza.

“The Mechanism will also serve as the main platform to facilitate entry into Gaza of all critical humanitarian items, consolidating existing practices, further to the intent of the resolution,” she said, urging UN Member States to continue to preposition supplies and to allocate financing to aid agencies.

Senior Coordinator Sigrid Kaag briefing the Security Council.

Senior Coordinator Sigrid Kaag briefing the Security Council.

Options are also discussed on the feasibility and longer-term planning of the Cyprus Maritime Corridor with direct access to Gaza, she added.

Planning for reconstruction

Ms. Kaag emphasized that while humanitarian assistance will be required “for years to come”, planning and preparing for early recovery and reconstruction is equally important, urging Council members to consider immediate actions that complement and support the humanitarian response.

We cannot ask Palestinian civilians to put their future on hold while they cling to their human dignity under inhumane conditions,” she said.

The Senior Coordinator also highlighted that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has a critical role in Gaza, integral to the enclave’s recovery and reconstruction, and urged the international community to ensure the PA’s financial stability and support its reform, governance, and other capacities necessary to reassume its responsibilities.

Senior Coordinator Kaag briefing the Security Council.



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