Second Aid Shipment Departs Cyprus for Gaza, Easing Humanitarian Crisis

In a concerted effort to alleviate the humanitarian crisis gripping Gaza, a second shipment of aid, comprising nearly 400 tons of food, departed from Cyprus’s Larnaca port on Saturday. Witnessed by Reuters, the aid convoy, destined for Gaza, is being transported via a cargo ship and a platform towed by a salvage vessel.

This initiative marks the continuation of relief efforts facilitated by Cyprus, in collaboration with Israel, to establish a maritime corridor for pre-screened cargoes directly reaching the besieged Palestinian enclave. Spearheaded by U.S.-based charity World Central Kitchen (WCK) in partnership with Spain’s Open Arms charity, the mission garnered financial support primarily from the UAE, with additional backing from Cypriot authorities.

The first mission, orchestrated earlier in March, showcased an innovative solution as aid was offloaded in Gaza using a makeshift jetty constructed from rubble, given the enclave’s lack of port facilities. The current dispatch includes essential equipment such as forklifts and a crane, enhancing future marine deliveries.

In parallel efforts, the United States has announced plans to construct a floating pier off Gaza to facilitate aid reception. With a target completion date of May 1, the project, led by Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, aims to expedite relief efforts, potentially achieving readiness by April 15.

The urgency of aid delivery underscores the United Nations’ warning of an imminent famine in the northern Gaza Strip, where prolonged conflict has left 300,000 people trapped. Across the entirety of Gaza, home to 2.3 million individuals, over half the population faces the grim prospect of famine by July if humanitarian interventions are not swiftly implemented.