MIL-OSI Translation: Israel-Palestine: Maritime aid to Gaza cannot replace land aid

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THOUSAND OSI Translation. Region: Spanish/Latin America/UN –

Source: United Nations – in Spanish 4

Headline: Israel-Palestine: Maritime aid to Gaza cannot replace land aid

UN aid officials on Tuesday welcomed the news that an aid ship had set sail from Cyprus bound for Gaza loaded with 200 tons of relief supplies, but stressed that it was “not a substitute” for land aid. Gazans on the verge of famine.

“Any food or emergency aid that reaches Gaza, as we all know, is desperately needed; “There is no doubt about that,” said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“But it is not a substitute for ground transportation of food and other emergency aid to Gaza and, in particular, northern Gaza. “It can’t make up for that.”

Maritime aid essay

The UN official’s comments came as the international charity World Central Kitchen announced that its ship, Open Arms, had set sail for Gaza, about 200 nautical miles away.

The NGO has already worked with UN aid teams in Rafah, southern Gaza, where around 1.5 million people have sought refuge amid daily Israeli shelling and fighting over the past five months.

The head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNRWA) condemned the refusal to allow so-called “dual-use” items into Gaza.

“A truckload of aid has just been turned away because it contained scissors used in children’s first aid kits,” Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA commissioner general, tweeted on Tuesday.

Israeli bans

“Medical scissors are now added to a long list of prohibited items that Israeli authorities classify as ‘dual-use’. The list includes basic and vital items: from anesthetics, solar lights, oxygen cylinders and ventilators, to water cleaning tablets, anti-cancer drugs and maternity kits.

“It is necessary to facilitate and accelerate the dispatch of humanitarian supplies and the delivery of basic and critical items. The lives of two million people depend on it, there is no time to waste.”

Every options

Asked by journalists in Geneva whether the UN could use the new maritime corridor between the southern port of Larnaca, in Cyprus, and Gaza, the OCHAS spokesperson responded that “each and every entry point to Loop”.

But following repeated refusals by Israeli authorities to allow humanitarian convoys to access the north and unsafe conditions for aid teams, the UN official insisted that “we also need land access and safe and regular delivery within from Gaza.”

Imminent famine

On the other hand, the director of the UN World Food Program, Cindy McCain, warned on Monday that famine is “imminent” in Gaza and will only be avoided if humanitarian aid increases “exponentially.”

In her speech in Rome, the executive director of the WFP underlined the serious concern for the population “across Gaza, particularly in the north, which is on the verge of suffering a humanitarian catastrophe.”

“If we do not exponentially increase aid reaching northern areas, famine is imminent. It is imminent.”

The veteran official explained that the WFP had been forced to stop aid deliveries to the north on February 20 due to concerns “for the safety of our staff and due to the complete breakdown of law and order.”

The head of the UN agency insisted that all options were being studied to alleviate the hunger crisis in northern Gaza, including air shipments, but “they will never be able to supply the volume needed by road access.”

Access by road “and the use of existing ports and border crossings is the only way to get aid to Gaza on the scale that is needed now,” the WFP official insisted. “We need 300 trucks of food to enter Gaza every day.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

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