The IRC welcomes the passing of UN Security Council Resolution 2735, calling for a three-phase ceasefire deal to end the war in Gaza.  The resolution also sets the path for the release of hostages, protection of Palestinians from further harm and calls for the distribution of humanitarian assistance at scale. 

A ceasefire is necessary but insufficient to facilitate the massive scale-up of aid required to address the needs of over two million Palestinians in Gaza. A ceasefire is also essential to secure the release of the hostages being held by Hamas and other armed groups. Since the war began, aid supply and distribution has been dangerously restricted, not only due to insecurity from the fighting, but by Israel’s bureaucratic and logistical barriers. Since the start of the Rafah incursion last month, the situation has plumbed new depths. Aid flows, already at low levels, plummeted by 67%. IRC and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) have had to postpone two emergency medical missions even as health needs skyrocket. Local aid organizations, including IRC’s partners, have had to temporarily suspend their programs.  

Only a ceasefire paired with a comprehensive ‘humanitarian reset’  can address the wide-ranging challenges of aid delivery in Gaza. This demands a clear, immediate and accountable plan to:

• Open all viable border crossings to goods and personnel

• Streamline inspection processes and allow all humanitarian supplies into Gaza

• Improve the deconfliction system 

• Restart water, electricity and fuel supplies

• Establish benchmarks that measures impact rather than count trucks

Workarounds and changes at the margins will not stave of famine, disease, and death in Gaza.  We urge all parties to the conflict to implement all aspects of the resolution immediately. However, a humanitarian reset must not be tied to political progress. So even if the ceasefire deal falters, we urge the UN Security Council to push for immediate and measurable improvements to humanitarian access.