Egypt continues exceptional customs measures facilitating flow of aid to Gaza

Mohamed Hamouda , Tuesday 23 Jan 2024

Egypt's Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait directed the Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA) to continue exceptional measures, providing all necessary customs facilitations and refraining from imposing any customs restrictions, to speed up humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza.

Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait. MOF Facebook Page


Egypt is committed to promptly responding to humanitarian emergencies, particularly in Gaza, asserted the statement from the Ministry of Finance.

The minister emphasized they are coordinating with all relevant entities to facilitate the delivery of aid.

Maait stressed the importance of international coordination to completing customs clearance for aid shipments before they arrive in Egypt, speeding up delivery of essential goods like food and medicine. 

ECA Head El-Shahat Ghatouri affirmed their collaboration with various authorized institutions sending humanitarian and relief aid to the Gaza Strip. He asserted Egypt’s commitment to exempting relief shipments from taxes and customs duties, transporting them under the "transit" system to reach the Rafah crossing.

The customs chief also noted that humanitarian aid trucks only go through visual inspection or X-ray machines at ports to expedite their prompt customs release.

As of 14 January, the first hundred days of the war, 7,000 tons of medical assistance, 50,000 tons of food, and 20,000 tons of water entered Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

Egypt has contributed 82 percent of total aid delivered to Gaza, worth a total of $196 million.

Additionally, 1,000 tents and tarps, along with 11,000 tons of various relief items and 88 new ambulances have been provided. A total of 405,000 tons of fuel and household gas were also delivered, Rashwan added.

Rashwan also stated that the major hurdle for the swift delivery of aid to Gaza has been the deliberate delays imposed by Israeli authorities inspecting the aid at border crossings.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday that very little food assistance has made it beyond southern Gaza since the start of the Israel war on the strip and that the risk of having pockets of famine in the Palestinian enclave remained.

"It's difficult to get into the places where we need to get to in Gaza, especially in northern Gaza," said Abeer Etefa, WFP spokesperson for the Middle East.

In its latest toll, the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said on Tuesday that at least 25,490 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory, including 195 fatalities in the past 24 hours, while at least 63,354 people had been wounded since the war erupted on 7 October.

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