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France : humanitarian conference on Gaza

Le président Emmanuel Macron lors d'une conférence humanitaire internationale pour les civils de Gaza, à Paris, le 9 novembre 2023.   -  
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Macron also praised aid initiatives from Jordan, the UAE and Cyprus in his call for more assistance for Gaza.

France will allocate an additional €80 million to humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people this year, bringing the total to €100 million, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday.

The French president was speaking at the start of an international aid conference on Gaza in Paris, bringing together more than 50 nations to address the besieged Palestinian enclave's growing needs including food, water, health supplies, electricity and fuel.

Macron appealed for Israel to protect civilians, saying that "all lives have equal worth" and that fighting terrorism "can never be carried out without rules." 

He called for a humanitarian pause in fighting to allow aid to reach Gaza civilians.

"Since 7 October, France has announced an additional €20 million in humanitarian aid and we are going to increase this effort to €100 million for 2023," Macron said.

"Today, I am also calling on all the countries present to increase their financial contributions to the Palestinian civilian population via the United Nations," Macron said.

He noted that the UN estimates the people of Gaza and the West Bank need $1.2 billion (€1.12 billion) of humanitarian aid.

Macron praised the initiatives of individual countries to deliver aid to Gaza, including Jordan parachuting in health supplies, the UAE setting up a field hospital and Cyprus proposing a maritime corridor, as well as the air bridge set up by the EU.

"I hope that today's conference can also help us, perhaps, to bring together all these efforts" and "become more effective," he said.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, pointed out that the EU had quadrupled its humanitarian aid for Palestinians.

"The suffering of the Palestinians has been going on for 75 years," said Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh.

"Time is precious. Six children are killed every hour" in Gaza, he added.

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