Wed | Jun 19, 2024

First aid from US pier in Gaza has reached starving Palestinians, the UN says

Published:Friday | May 24, 2024 | 12:10 AM
This image provided by the US Army shows trucks loaded with humanitarian aid from the United Arab Emirates and the United States Agency for International Development cross the Trident Pier before arriving on the beach on the Gaza Strip Friday, May 17.
This image provided by the US Army shows trucks loaded with humanitarian aid from the United Arab Emirates and the United States Agency for International Development cross the Trident Pier before arriving on the beach on the Gaza Strip Friday, May 17.

WASHINGTON (AP):

The UN World Food Program said Wednesday that it has handed out in Gaza in recent days a “limited number” of high-energy biscuits that arrived from a US-built pier, the first aid from the new humanitarian sea route to get into the hands of Palestinians in grave need.

The small number of biscuits came in the first shipments unloaded from the pier Friday, WFP spokesman Steve Taravella said. The US Agency for International Development told The Associated Press that a total of 41 trucks loaded with aid from the more than $320 million pier have reached humanitarian organizations in Gaza.

“Aid is flowing” from the pier, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Wednesday in response to questions about the troubled launch of aid deliveries from the maritime project. “It is not flowing at a rate that any of us are happy with.”

Pentagon spokesman Maj Gen Patrick Ryder told reporters Tuesday that he did not believe any of the aid from the pier had yet reached people in Gaza. Sullivan said a day later that some aid had been delivered “specifically to the Palestinians who need it”.

American officials hope the pier at maximum capacity can bring the equivalent of 150 truckloads of aid to Gaza each day. That’s a fraction of the 600 truckloads of food, emergency nutritional treatments and other supplies that USAID says are needed each day to bring people in Gaza back from the start of famine and address the humanitarian crisis brought on by the seven-month-old Israel-Hamas war.