The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed today’s opening of the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which enabled a first convoy of trucks to bring in urgently needed food, water and other supplies provided by the Egyptian Red Crescent and the United Nations for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who have been struggling amid desperate conditions.
The convoy, which moved through the Rafah crossing Saturday brought with it three trucks carrying 60 metric tons of WFP emergency food. The supplies include canned tuna, wheat flour, pasta, canned beans and canned tomato paste.
“This food is desperately needed as the conditions inside Gaza are truly catastrophic. These twenty trucks are an important first step, but this convoy has to be the first of many,” said WFP Executive Director, Cindy McCain. ”We must also have continuous, safe access for humanitarians and civilians inside Gaza, so that we can get this food to the people who so badly need it.”
WFP has another 930 metric tons of emergency food items at or near the Rafah border, ready to be brought into Gaza whenever access is allowed again. The stocks are needed to replenish WFP’s rapidly dwindling supplies inside Gaza.
Since the start of the crisis, some 520,000 people have received WFP food assistance. WFP is expanding its operation to support 1.1 million people in Gaza in the next two months.
Assistance includes fresh bread delivered daily to Gazans in UN shelters in areas where access is allowed. WFP supplies flour to contracted bakeries, which produce bread for distribution. However, in recent days many bakeries have stopped working because of lack of power and fuel. On Wednesday, one was hit.
WFP has also been providing cash vouchers which can be redeemed in food shops. Some 275,000 people have received this form of assistance so far. But with commercial food stocks running low, more food needs to be brought into Gaza urgently.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).