UAE flag
UAE flag Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The UAE and the World Central Kitchen on Tuesday announced they successfully completed the delivery of food aid to Gaza by sea.

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The mission – Operation Safeena – in partnership with Open Arms and with the support of the government of Cyprus, departed from Cyprus and docked just off the coast of Gaza, marking the first maritime delivery of food aid to Gaza since October.

The bulk food aid was delivered to Northern Gaza on Tuesday morning in cooperation with a World Food Programme convoy, that also carried a load of WCK ready-to-eat meals. This first maritime delivery carried almost 200 tonnes of rice, flour and proteins. Another 240 tonnes of food aid are ready for a second sailing to Gaza from the Larnaca, Cyprus port.

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“We are grateful for this robust partnership along with Open Arms and the support of the government of Cyprus to help make this latest effort a success. Bringing food by sea to Gaza is a critical and long overdue step. Food and water are a universal right. The dire humanitarian situation in Gaza requires a massive response – including by sea, air and land. We are pursuing additional maritime food aid deliveries and look forward to working with the international community to do all that is possible to urgently address this challenge,” said Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Erin Gore, CEO World Central Kitchen in joint statement.

Since October, WCK and partners have served over 39 million meals in Gaza and are constantly adapting to meet the various challenges and needs, with WCK’s efforts accounting for more than 60 per cent of all NGO-provided humanitarian aid in Gaza.

To date, the UAE has delivered 21,000 tonnes of urgent supplies, including food, water, and medical items, dispatched through 216 flights, 10 airdrops, 964 trucks, and two ships.