HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsGaza aid mobilizes through Cyprus Maritime Corridor

Gaza aid mobilizes through Cyprus Maritime Corridor

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Brussels, 18 May 2024 (TDI): The European Union (EU) has mobilized humanitarian aid for Gaza through the Cyprus Maritime Corridor.

The aid shipment, carrying EU supplies, initiated its journey from Cyprus to reach Gaza via the Maritime Corridor and newly constructed US pier.

The European Commission covers the transport costs of this delivery, whereas, an EU logistics hub in Cyprus has also been set up to handle further flow of assistance to Gaza.

Furthermore, the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre has been established. It shall remain in close contact with Member States and humanitarian partners to mobilize offers of assistance.

Noteworthy, EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights have already channeled over 2,000 metric tons of aid deliveries separate from this maritime aid delivery.

Also, this maritime aid delivery is in addition to the €193 million in EU humanitarian funding allocated for Palestinians in need this year.

Cyprus Maritime Corridor

This first EU shipment using the US-constructed pier follows the joint announcement made on 8 March 2024 expressing their intent to open a maritime corridor to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza by sea.

The statement was made by the European Commission, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the Republic of Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza requested assistance under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism including this Corridor on 28th March, 2024.

Maritime Corridor as complementary Arrangement

The key purpose of the Cyprus Maritime Corridor is to increase aid supplies to the Gaza enclave to minimize the humanitarian crisis.

It is considered as complementary to and not intended to replace existing land routes to Gaza. These routes include the Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings.

The EU also calls on Israel to grant sustained access using new routes such as through the Erez crossing and use of the Ashdod port.

Also Read: Turkish Gaza aid flotillas faces delays due to Israeli tactics

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, European Commission emphasized that “…it is evident that there is no meaningful substitute to land routes via Egypt and Jordan and entry points from Israel into Gaza for aid delivery at scale.”

Conclusively, “In line with its obligations under International Humanitarian Law, I call on Israel to expand deliveries by land and to immediately open additional crossings to get more aid into and throughout Gaza unimpededly,” he reiterated.

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