Glasgow City Council preparing to offer aid to Palestinians in Gaza

Glasgow City Council preparing to offer aid to Palestinians in Gaza
Amid the UK government's continued blocking of funds to UNRWA, Glasgow City Council is looking to offer aid to the besieged, starving Gaza Strip.
2 min read
19 May, 2024
SNP-led Glasgow City Council is looking to offer what it can to help the 'catastrophic' conditions in Gaza [Getty]

Glasgow City Council is preparing to offer financial aid to Palestinians in Gaza, according to a report on Saturday.

Councillors within the Scottish National Party-run local authority will be presented with a paper on how aid could be offered to war-ravaged Gaza before the summer recess, the Glasgow Times reported.

Speaking at a council meeting on Friday, Scottish Green councillor Leódhas Massie asked about when the paper will be brought forward to “explore the financial relief that Glasgow could offer Palestinians in Gaza by way of Medical Aid for Palestinians?”

In reply, SNP councillor Greg Hepburn said the “subject is important to all of us across the chamber and speaks to Glasgow’s history of looking outwards towards those in great need, which is welcome.”

However, Hepburn explained that there are limitations to what Glasgow can do, given restrictions placed on Scottish authorities by the UK government when dealing with other countries.

“There are limitations on who the council can provide funding to in these situations. We are simply not allowed to provide direct aid to communities abroad,” Hepburn said.

Hepburn further noted that Glasgow can somewhat get around this by providing donations to “wider organisations hosting specific funds”, something it has done in the past.

“For example, in May 2022 we agreed on a payment of £20,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Ukraine fund and officers have checked to see if DEC is running a similar appeal in relation to Gaza. They have not to date launched anything,” he said.

Live Story

The SNP councillor said that they “have provided a list of member charities that do have appeals and officers are considering whether any of those organisations meet the criteria for us to donate to.”

"There are also potential alternatives like the British Red Cross acting as an umbrella organisation that we might be able to provide funding to as well,” he added.

The move by Glasgow City Council comes as the UK government continues to withhold funds from the UN's Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA at a time when Israel is blocking humanitarian aid into Gaza. 

The UN estimates that 2.7 million people across the Occupied Territories need humanitarian assistance, including everyone in Gaza.

The World Food Programme has said 9 out of 10 people in northern Gaza are living on less than a meal a day, with starvation affecting over 600,000 Gazans, and a further 1.1 million living in “catastrophic food insecurity”.