After the first maritime shipment of aid for Gaza arrived in Egypt, carrying almost 90 tonnes of essential items, Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides said from the outset Cyprus initiated an effort to establish a reliable mechanism for the collection, storing and safe shipping of humanitarian aid cargoes, based on the available infrastructure and strategic political relationships with all parties involved.
‘The international community now has a viable option at its disposal for sending further humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza,’ he said. ‘Cooperation with Israel, the United Kingdom and other partners has been excellent. We have a plan and a specific strategy to send further humanitarian aid, always taking into account conditions on the ground and having at hand a number of options as regards to the destination’.
The lifesaving shipment was delivered from Cyprus by Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Lyme Bay, carrying thermal blankets, shelter packs and medical supplies provided by the UK and the Republic of Cyprus. From Port Said, the aid will be received by the Egyptian Red Crescent and will make its way to Al Arish and then through Rafah and into Gaza for distribution by UNRWA.
Christodoulides said Cyprus was ‘proceeding methodically’ in cooperation with partners and taking advantage of the fact that the Republic of Cyprus is the European Union (EU) Member State in proximity to the region ‘and which maintains excellent relations with the countries in the region’.
In London, the Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary made clear that Israel must increase the flow of aid into Gaza and facilitate the delivery of relief on the ground, including through negotiated humanitarian pauses. The UK will continue to explore other routes for aid deliveries, including the Cypriot initiative for a maritime corridor between Cyprus and Israel/OPTs and supporting United Nations World Food Programme through the humanitarian land corridor from Jordan through Kerem Shalom.
The first British maritime shipment of aid for Gaza has arrived in Egypt, carrying almost 90 tonnes of thermal blankets…