UN Agency: Aid From New Gaza Route Was Looted

World Food Program says US pier project may fail if alternate routes can't be used
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 21, 2024 6:53 PM CDT
UN Agency Says US Gaza Pier Project May Fail
Palestinians storm trucks loaded with humanitarian aid brought in through a new US-built pier, Saturday, May 18, 2024.   (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

The UN World Food Program said Tuesday the new US pier project for delivering aid to Gaza may fail unless Israel starts ensuring the conditions humanitarian groups need to operate safely. The operation was halted for at least two days after crowds looted aid trucks coming from the port and one Palestinian man was killed. Deliveries were stopped Sunday and Monday after the majority of the trucks in an aid convoy Saturday were stripped of all their goods on the way to a warehouse in central Gaza, the WFP said. The first aid transported by sea had entered the besieged territory on Friday.

The Pentagon said movement of aid from the secured area at the port resumed Tuesday, but the UN said it was not aware of any deliveries on Tuesday. The UN food agency is now reevaluating logistics and security measures and looking for alternate routes within Gaza, said spokesperson Abeer Etefa. The WFP is working with the US Agency for International Development to coordinate the deliveries. Only five of the 16 aid trucks that left the secured area on Saturday arrived at the intended warehouse with their cargo intact, another WFP spokesperson, Steve Taravella, told the AP. He said the other 11 trucks were waylaid by what became a crowd of people and arrived without their cargo.

"Without sufficient supplies entering Gaza, these issues will continue to surface. Community acceptance and trust that this is not a one-off event are essential for this operation's success," Taravella said. "We have raised this issue with the relevant parties and reiterated our request for alternative roads to facilitate aid delivery. Unless we receive the necessary clearance and coordination to use additional routes, this operation may not be successful." The WFP also said Tuesday it has suspended food distribution in the southern Gaza city of Rafah due to a lack of supplies and insecurity. (More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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