UK

Scottish Government pledges £500,000 to Gaza relief

International development minister Christina McKelvie announced government funding for the relief effort in Gaza (Fraser Bremner/Daily Mail/PA)
International development minister Christina McKelvie announced government funding for the relief effort in Gaza (Fraser Bremner/Daily Mail/PA)

The Scottish Government has pledged £500,000 in humanitarian funding to the relief effort in Gaza.

The cash will be given to the UN’s Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) flash appeal, which is working to support those being displaced by escalating violence in Gaza.

International development minister Christina McKelvie also reiterated the Scottish Government’s call for a humanitarian corridor to allow aid to be delivered to civilians.

She said: “Our thoughts are with all the innocent people caught in the middle of escalating conflict in Israel and Gaza.

“The Scottish Government reiterates the call from the First Minister and the UN secretary-general for a humanitarian corridor to be established so that urgent assistance can be given to those civilians who are trapped, helpless and cannot leave.”

The call was made by First Minister Humza Yousaf earlier this week.

Tamara Alrifai, the director of external relations and communications at the UNRWA, said: “This generous contribution is an incredibly humane gesture towards tens of thousands of people who are in utter distress in the Gaza Strip.

“UNRWA is very grateful for the show of support by Scotland and will use every penny to help alleviate the suffering of civilian women, children and men in Gaza.”

Mr Yousaf has also been candid about his and his wife Nadia El-Nakla’s fears for her family in Gaza.

Her mother Elizabeth and father Maged made the trip last week, ahead of the Hamas attack on Israel which sparked reprisals, to visit family, becoming trapped there.

In a tearful interview with Sky News on Friday, the First Minister said: “I do not know, I genuinely do not know if I will see my in-laws again. Nadia doesn’t know she’s going to see her mum and dad again.

“And all we can do is watch the news and look at all the rolling coverage.”

Mr Yousaf also revealed that his youngest daughter, Amal, four, asked him if “granny would be back in time for Halloween”, and that they had told her she was “scared of the thunder”.

They told her that she would be back, but Mr Yousaf said: “We honestly don’t know if she will.”

The First Minister also told the BBC he felt that the response from the Israeli Government was “going too far” and punishing “innocent” people.

His comments came after he and his wife endured a scare on Thursday after seeing the area where her family live being bombed through live media reports.

Ms El-Nakla was able to reach her mother soon after to confirm they had not been hurt.

In an emotional video posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday by her son-in-law, Elizabeth El-Nakla said: “Where is humanity? Where’s people’s hearts in the world, to let this happen in this day and age?

“May God help us, goodbye.”

Meanwhile, rallies have been organised across the UK in solidarity with the Palestinian people, with thousands expected to march in London.

In Scotland, smaller events in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee have been organised.

Ms McKelvie also announced £250,000 in humanitarian funding for Libya, through the Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund, to support their response to flooding that killed more than 4,000 people in September.

She added: “Many thousands of people in Libya are also still dealing with the impact of major flooding following dam collapses in the aftermath of Storm Daniel and our thoughts are also with them and their families, as work to provide essential aid, such as food, clean water and shelter, continues in those areas worst affected.”