First aid ship to Gaza departs Cyprus with 200 tonnes of food supplies

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WASHINGTON— On Tuesday, the non-profit organization World Central Kitchen (WCK) announced the departure of the rescue ship ‘Open Arms,’ loaded with 200 tonnes of food supplies primarily funded by the UAE, from Cyprus. اضافة اعلان

The supplies for the ship came from the organization headquartered in Washington, DC, which collaborates with the Spanish non-governmental organization, Proactiva Open Arms (POA), Al-Mamlaka TV reported.

WCK also highlighted that it has commenced the construction of a marine dock in the Gaza Strip in collaboration with its partners to facilitate aid ship reception. This initiative, which began on Sunday, precedes the creation of a 'maritime highway' intended for the weekly delivery of food to the strip.

WCK noted the complexity of the maritime operation, stating that timing of departure and full logistical information are currently unavailable.

 Cyprus explained that shipments undergo security inspection there, including by Israeli teams, eliminating the need for inspection at the final discharge point to remove potential obstacles in aid delivery.

According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), "This trip is separate from the US project to build the floating dock.”

Notably, the US Army sent a logistics ship carrying equipment following President Joe Biden's announcement of building a temporary dock to facilitate aid delivery.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant inspected ongoing preparations for building a floating marine dock carrying equipment from a US support ship that sailed from the US; the construction process is expected to take 60 days.

More than 34 million meals
WCK has another 500 tonnes of aid in Cyprus ready for future sea transport, having provided over 34 million meals to Gaza since October 2023 and operating over 60 community kitchens there.

Additionally, It sent more than 1400 trucks through the Rafah Crossing and employed approximately 400 Palestinians to work with it in the strip.

Amid the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza and increasing warnings of famine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed hope to open a maritime corridor from the Cypriot port of Larnaca to Gaza on Sunday.

However, relief organizations and UN officials confirmed that facilitating truck entry would be more effective than delivering them by sea.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) warned that delivering aid by sea will not sufficiently mitigate the risk of famine. According to the UN, 2.2 million people, the vast majority of Gaza's population, are at risk of famine due to a severe shortage of food and drinking water.

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