Egypt strengthens customs facilities to expedite humanitarian aid into Gaza Strip

Ahram Online , Tuesday 23 Jan 2024

Egypt's Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait has directed officials to strengthen customs facilities for trucks transporting essential humanitarian and relief aid to the Gaza Strip to ensure a seamless aid flow, according to an official statement on Tuesday.

People on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing watch as a convoy of lorries carrying human
People on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing watch as a convoy of lorries carrying humanitarian aid crosses to the Gaza Strip on October 22, 2023. AFP


Maait emphasized the need to maintain measures that eliminate all customs restrictions on relief shipments destined for the Gaza Strip, which aligns with Egypt's efforts to address the critical humanitarian crisis that has reached its pinnacle in Gaza.

“Egyptian ports are operating ceaselessly to finalize customs procedures for relief shipments and facilitate their direct transfer to the Rafah border crossing,” Maait added.

Maait further underscored the importance of coordinating endeavors between local and international entities to expedite the customs clearance of relief shipments and ensure the uninterrupted transit of thousands of tons of food and medical supplies.

Moreover, El-Shahat Ghatouri, head of the Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA), affirmed the government's commitment to facilitating customs procedures to facilitate the immediate release of relief shipments.

Ghatouri highlighted Egypt's dedication to exempting relief shipments from taxes and customs duties, allowing for their swift transportation to the Rafah border crossing.

He also emphasized that a visual examination or using X-ray machines at the ports is sufficient for inspecting these trucks.

In a recent development, the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) delivered 50 humanitarian aid trucks containing essential supplies such as food and medical provisions to the Gaza Strip via the Rafah border crossing on Thursday.

As the Israeli war on Gaza enters its 109th day, the grim toll on the Palestinian population continues to rise, with at least 25,490 lives lost and 63,354 individuals sustaining injuries.

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