Aid ship sets sail from Cyprus to Gaza, where famine worsens

AP , Tuesday 12 Mar 2024

An aid ship loaded with some 200 tons of food set sail Tuesday from Cyprus to Gaza, the international charity behind the effort said.

The ship belonging to the Open Arms aid group with aid on a platform ferry some 200 tonnes of rice and flour directly to Gaza, departs from the port of southern city of Larnaca, Cyprus, Tuesday, March 12, 2024. AP


The shipment is a test for the opening of a sea corridor to supply aid to the territory, where starvation is spreading five months into Israel's war on Gaza.

World Food Kitchen, the charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, posted on the X social media platform that a ship set sail on Tuesday. Associated Press live footage showed it being towed out of a harbor in the port city of Larnaca.

The United States has separately announced plans to construct a sea bridge near Gaza in order to deliver aid, but it will likely be several weeks before it is operational.

The 5-month-old war has killed over 30,000 Palestinians and driven at least 85 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people from their homes. The UN says a quarter of the population is starving.

Aid groups say it is nearly impossible to deliver aid into the territory because of Israel's siege and relentless bombardment of the strip.

At the same time, the Israeli war has led to a breakdown of law and order, especially in the north where famine has already started to take a toll on children, women, and elderly.

It’s unclear how effective the sea deliveries will be in addressing the humanitarian catastrophe, as there will still be difficulties in delivering the aid once it is inside Gaza.

*This story has been edited by Ahram Online

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