Sign with us the urgent Appeal for Enhanced Support and Protection of ERASMUS+ Alumni in Palestine

In cooperation with other European NGOs we have decided to launch an urgent appeal for Enhanced Support and Protection of ERASMUS+ Alumni in Palestine.

The letter is addressed to the following EU representatives:

  • European Union’s Commissioner on Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
  • European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, Chair 
  • EU Special Representative for Human Rights
  • Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations > Principal Advisor for Reconstruction in Gaza
  • European Union Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process
  • Special Advisor to the Secretary General on Higher Education and Research, Union for the Mediterranean


We are writing to you on behalf of the European Union’s Erasmus+ alumni, particularly those currently facing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Palestine.

The Erasmus+ programme, under your stewardship, has been a beacon of hope and a catalyst for fostering knowledge exchange, peacebuilding, intercultural connections, and skill development among young people across Europe, the Maghreb, and globally. Through thousands of projects led by dedicated volunteers under the banners of ERASMUS+ and #EUAlumni, significant strides have been made in advancing climate action, peace, human rights, and cooperation across the Mediterranean Sea and beyond. In fact, in one of the Erasmus+ activities in Morocco in 2019, we gathered youth from over 20 nationalities from Europe and the Mediterranean region, including from Palestine and Israel, to engage in common dialogue, cooperation, and knowledge exchange. We jointly drafted policy recommendations for education, entrepreneurship, and climate action. This is only one of the countless success stories of this EU programme, which has been so impactful due to young people from around the world believing in the mission of inclusion, peace, and cooperation.

Fast forward to now, our Erasmus+ alumni are trapped in inhumane conditions in the Gaza Strip with an utter lack of humanitarian support. Overall, some 88,000 Palestinian students in Gaza are unable to pursue higher education (in addition to another 14,000 in post graduate studies) and are facing hunger and significant distress. Besides this immediate impact, future progress in building society has been put on hold. Below we would like to share the words of our colleague, Erasmus+ volunteer, in her early 20s, Mariam, who currently resides with her family in Rafah:

“The situation is so bad and scary from all aspects of life. The diseases spread among people, especially hepatitis… Also, people suffer from hunger and poverty. There is random bombing against civilians every day. People are crowded on the streets and tents are not suitable to live in. We are suffering from a catastrophe. More than 1 million and a half of displaced people gathered in Rafah city which is a small city…Our fate is unknown. 

I am trying to apply for a master’s scholarship or any international opportunity, but I am still frustrated and not encouraged to achieve anything because a feeling of dying accompanies me at all times.”

The European Union, as a champion of peace, human rights, democracy, and international cooperation, has a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure that its actions align with its values. The neglect of Erasmus+ alumni in dire situations contradicts the very principles upon which the Union and its programmes are founded. The perceived lack of European solidarity by our colleagues in Gaza and globally not only undermines the EU’s commitment to upholding human rights, peace, and international humanitarian law but also risks dimming and even extinguishing the bright promise that has been promoted by the Erasmus+ programme, which had actively promoted the values of education, dialogue and humanism.

Your leadership is of utmost importance. We kindly request that you encourage officials to not only verbally support humanitarian law, human rights, peace, and the right to education but also to demonstrate their commitment through tangible actions. In addition, we urge the EU and UfM member states to ensure sustained humanitarian aid and to take proactive steps as soon as possible including:

  1. Initiating a special provision for educational opportunities for Palestinians under ERASMUS+, including a special scholarship scheme to study in Europe.
  2. Enhancing support for Palestinians abroad to continue their education, with monthly assistance for those who have lost family and homes.
  3. Prioritizing mental health assistance for the students from Gaza who have been enduring traumatic experiences due to the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crises.
  4. After ensuring the provision of humanitarian necessities and achieving sustained peace, commence and fund a reconstruction effort focused on rebuilding the University of Gaza and other educational facilities across the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, provide virtual learning options for students in Gaza to counteract the widespread destruction of educational infrastructure in the region.

Ensuring access to education can serve as a crucial support for these students, offering them access to educational resources and opportunities for academic advancement despite the challenging circumstances they face.

Lastly, we also echo and reiterate the statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which notes that humanitarian aid is only part of the solution: “Alleviating the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza starts with a clear will and measures that safeguard civilian life and human dignity…The only way to achieve this is that the parties strictly adhere to international humanitarian law, which means preserving the life, dignity and humanity of all people affected by armed conflict, regardless of which side they are on.”

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. We look forward to your prompt and decisive action.

If your organization has worked with the ERASMUS+ programme and would like to co-sign, please do so by using the button below and by providing your full name and surname, as well as your affiliation within your organization.



#stayunited #erasmus4Gaza

List of Co-signatories

OCEANS Network 

UNITED for Intercultural Action


Mediterranean Youth Foundation

Erasmus+ Global Partnerships

African Student and Alumni Forum

Apice – Agenzia di Promozione Integrata per i cittadini in Europa 

Útilapu Hálózat – SCI Hungary


Eurobug Lithuania

Erasmus+ Peacebuilders

Erasmus+ Worldwide


Jovesolides Spain 

Jovesolides Egypt