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“Food for Gaza” plan unveiled in Italy, effort to be launched from Cyprus

Three multilateral food and aid agencies, together with Italy, on Monday unveiled a “Food for Gaza” initiative aimed at coordinating international humanitarian efforts.

The initiative is made to increase food and health aid in Gaza in the short term, and then to focus — in the long term — on the human and social reconstruction of Gaza, according to Antonio Tajani, Italy’s deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs,

Qu Dongyu, director-general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization; Cindy McCain, executive director of the World Food Program; and Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Xavier Castellanos were present at the event held at the headquarters of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“This is a program whose objective is to coordinate the activities of these important institutions,” Tajani said. “Together we want to focus on projects and the creation of a humanitarian aid corridor.”

Tajani said the corridor will start from the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, noting that current efforts to bring aid to the citizens of Gaza via airlifts are “proving to be inadequate.”

In a separate development, a ship loaded with humanitarian aid for Gaza remains docked in Larnaca harbour.

Local media reports the delay is mainly due to technical issues, namely the fact that the platform in Gaza, which will be used to unload the approximately 150 tons of humanitarian aid carried by the ship Open Arms, is not yet ready.

On Tuesday, a departure timetable is expected to be decided.

The ship is carrying 150 tons of dry food, water and some medical supplies.

The opening of a maritime aid corridor is a joint project of the European Commission, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the Republic of Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, and the United States.

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Famagusta Gazette