Labour is today calling for a coordinated Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) fund appeal with matched government funding to provide essential humanitarian emergency in Gaza, and to create a longer-term fund for the reconstruction of Gaza.

On a joint visit to Cairo to meet political leaders, international organisations and aid agencies working on the ground to support Palestinian civilians and get aid across the Rafah crossing, Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy and Shadow Cabinet Member for International Development Lisa Nandy say they are responding to clear and stark warnings about the scale of the humanitarian emergency by calling for a coordinated DEC appeal to maximise support from the British public and our shared mission to protect civilians in Gaza.

A number of British charities have launched flash appeals to get aid to the Rafah crossing in Egypt. As part of the call for an appeal, David Lammy and Lisa Nandy on behalf of the Labour Party are calling on the government to match funding raised by generous donations from the public, through the UK Aid Match programme. Most recently this match scheme has helped to scale-up aid to people affected by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and to people needing help due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The intervention follows Keir Starmer’s speech calling for immediate humanitarian pauses in Gaza to allow aid to be delivered quickly, safely and at scale. Labour also wants the government to begin work with international partners to plan for the longer-term reconstruction of Gaza. Over forty percent of homes in Gaza have been destroyed, while key infrastructure including hospitals, schools, and roads have sustained damage. 

David Lammy MP, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, said:

“There is an urgent need to alleviate humanitarian suffering in Gaza and a DEC appeal with government backing would help galvanise the public’s efforts to help those in need.  We must also begin to plan for the large-scale reconstruction that will be required for the people of Gaza to live in peace and dignity. In the long term, there can only be a political solution based on a two-state solution.”

Lisa Nandy MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Development, added

“5,500 women are expected to give birth imminently in hospitals without access to painkillers, medicine or freshwater and limited power. In the face of such tragic events, the British public are rightly stepping up, the Government could now ensure that generosity is met in kind to help women and children in desperate need.”

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is made up of 15 member charities who are experts in humanitarian aid and specialise in different areas of disaster response. 

UK Aid Match brings charities, the British public and the UK government together to pool funds, where by the government commits to match a certain value of funds raised by the public through DEC.

For every £1 donated to a UK Aid Match charity appeal, the government will also contribute £1 of UK aid, to help these projects go further in changing and saving lives. UK Aid Match is funded from the international development budget, for donations made by individuals living in the UK.

The Government typically caps the total funds raised that it will match, for example the 2023 Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal was capped at £5 million, the 2022 Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal at £25 million and the 2021 Afghanistan Crisis Appeal capped at £10 million.

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