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First Gaza aid convoy, but more are needed

The 20-truck convoy that passed through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt carried life-saving supplies provided by the Egyptian Red Crescent and the UN, including enough water for 22,000 people but only for one day.

The items were approved to cross and be received by the Palestinian Red Crescent, with UN support.

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“I am confident that this delivery will be the start of a sustainable effort to provide essential supplies – including food, water, medicine and fuel – to the people of Gaza, in a safe, dependable, unconditional and unimpeded manner,” Mr. Griffiths said in a statement published on his official account on X, formerly Twitter.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said three trucks carrying 60 metric tonnes of emergency food were in the convoy. The supplies included canned tuna, wheat flour, pasta, canned beans and canned tomato paste.

“This food is desperately needed as the conditions inside Gaza are truly catastrophic,” said WFP Executive Director, Cindy McCain. Highlighting the need for continuous safe access, she said the 20 trucks were “an important first step, but this convoy has to be the first of many.”

WFP has another 930 metric tonnes of emergency food items at or near the Rafah border, ready to go whenever access is allowed again. These stocks are needed to replenish the agency’s rapidly dwindling supplies inside Gaza.

Since the start of the crisis, WFP has provided assistance to some 520,000 people and is expanding operations to support 1.1 million in the next two months. This assistance includes fresh bread delivered daily to people clustered in UN shelters in areas where access is allowed.

WFP supplies flour to contracted bakeries, which produce bread for distribution. However, lack of power and fuel have forced many bakeries to stop working, and one was even hit on Wednesday.

ver 44,000 bottles of drinking water were also on the convoy, or just enough for 22,000 people for one day, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said.

“With one million children in Gaza now facing a critical protection and humanitarian crisis, the delivery of water is a matter of life or death. Every minute counts,” said Catherine Russell, the agency’s Executive Director.

The shipment represents a drop in the ocean of immense needs in Gaza, where large parts of critical infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, have been reduced to rubble.

UNICEF said water capacity is at five per cent of normal levels, and Gaza’s nearly 2.3 million residents are now surviving on three litres of water per person per day.

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