UN agency to help in aid distribution in Gaza by sea route,

UN agency to help in aid distribution in Gaza

US officials announced on Friday (April 19) that the UN World Food Program (WFP) has agreed to participate in delivering humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.

This involvement could be a breakthrough, as it addresses a key hurdle, the hesitation of many aid groups to distribute supplies directly in Gaza without significant changes from Israel

After an Israeli military attack on April 1 killed seven aid workers from the World Central Kitchen, the Netanyahu government received a lot of international flak for failing to provide security to humanitarian workers or allow adequate amounts of aid across its land borders.

Facing criticism over Gaza's humanitarian crisis, President Biden announced in March the US military would build a temporary pier to deliver aid by sea, bypassing land routes controlled by Israel. The UN World Food Program has since agreed to partner on aid distribution.

Israel promised to open more border crossings into Gaza and increase the flow of aid after its drone strikes killed the seven aid workers, who were delivering food into the Palestinian territory.

The US military will build a modular bridge as part of the maritime route, in hopes that handling the inspection and processing of the aid offshore will speed the distribution to people in Gaza.

Offshore, the Army plans to construct a large floating platform for ships to unload pallets of aid. The aid will then be transported by Army boats to a motorised chain of steel pier or causeway sections, which will be securely anchored to the shore.

Several Army vessels and Miliary Sealift Command ships are already in the Mediterranean Sea, and are working to prepare and build the platform and pier.

The Pentagon said it could provide somewhere to 2 million meals a day for Gaza residents.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, told reporters that US in on track to have the system in place by the end of the month or early May. The actual construction of the pier had been on hold as US and international officials hammered out agreements for the collection and distribution of the aid

He said the U.S. has been making progress, and that Israel has agreed to provide security