Aid to Gaza: a second ship ready to set sail from Cyprus

A second ship loaded with humanitarian aid for Gaza is at the port of Larnaca, waiting to set sail for the smooth unloading of a first delivery of food in the Palestinian territory, the Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.

“In the current option, we operate through an NGO, we already have follow-up with a commercial vessel of greater capacity” which will be able to leave Cyprus “after the first unloading, if there are no problems”, he said. explained Constantinos Kombos to some journalists in Nicosia.

The boat, belonging to an undisclosed state, “has been in Larnaca since Saturday (and) the boat and the cargo are being inspected” by the authorities, Mr. Kombos added without specifying the quantity of aid transported.

The first boat using a maritime corridor between Cyprus and the Gaza Strip (around 370 km) left on Tuesday with a barge loaded with 200 tonnes of aid. The boat from the Spanish NGO Open Arms should take “several days” to arrive at an unidentified unloading point on the coast of Gaza, according to a spokesperson for the NGO.

There, the aid must be delivered to a jetty built for the occasion by the NGO World Central Kitchen (WCK) which must then distribute it to the population on the verge of starvation.

According to the UN, the vast majority of Gaza’s 2.4 million inhabitants are threatened by famine and the situation is catastrophic in the north of the territory, where the delivery of aid is dangerous.

“This is a maiden voyage, we must ensure that we have the capacity to unload and distribute” the aid in good conditions, assured Mr. Kombos.

One of the concerns is the smooth running of ground operations and the “management of the crowd” who have been desperately waiting for food in the besieged and bombed territory since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas on October 7, according to the minister. “We want the population to know that there will be regular deliveries,” he stressed.

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