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US officials praised the leadership role of Cyprus for Gaza – In the next few days the pier will be operational

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    US officials praised Cyprus' leadership role for Gaza where a jetty will operate in the coming days – How will the process take place

    The leading role of Cyprusin the operation to coordinate and transport humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza through a sea corridor, US officials said, saying that the humanitarian crisis is worsening and that the aid from the sea will contribute to the efforts being made to relieve the population by land.

    USAID Crisis Management Director Dan Dieckhaus and Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, Deputy Commandant of the United States Central Command, briefed reporters on Wednesday on the Gaza humanitarian sea corridor where they announced that the Gaza pier is expected to be operational in the coming days.

    In response to a question about the role of Cyprus, Mr. Cooper expressed his thanks to the Cypriot Government “for its leadership and support throughout this operation” saying that it would not have been possible without Cyprus. He emphasized the excellent coordination between the partners, which, as he mentioned, is possible thanks to Cyprus.

    For his part, Mr. Dieckhaus said that Cyprus provides hosting that includes port facilities, logistical support and organization in terms of a multinational coordination cell led by Cyprus to organize all the various players that include not only US actors but the UK, the EU, the UAE while there are many other countries involved. This is how Cyprus organizes and coordinates them, he said.

    In his opening statement, Mr Dieckhaus said the humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire and that conditions are worsening, and civilians are suffering. He noted that the entire population in Gaza, some 2.2 million people, are in need of food aid and that the possibility of famine looms menacingly.

    More than half of the population in northern Gaza, he added, faces dire levels of food insecurity and nearly 30% of children there are severely malnourished, while in southern Gaza nearly a quarter of the population faces food insecurity.

    He pointed out that the dire situation in Gaza is further complicated by the events in Rafah. Despite the challenges, he noted, they continued to work to increase humanitarian aid deliveries to and said that USAID is coordinating with the Department of Defense to create a sea corridor, which he stressed will augment and not replace land-based aid delivery.< /p>

    This sea corridor, he said, includes the construction of a temporary jetty in the Mediterranean Sea off Gaza to help humanitarian organizations receive and deliver aid in an independent and impartial manner. He noted that the work on the jetty has been completed and the sea corridor is expected to be operational in the next few days.

    He noted that the work on the jetty has been completed and the sea corridor is expected to be operational in the next few days.< /p>

    He said that humanitarian aid from the US and other countries arrives in Cyprus where it is inspected for loading onto ships for delivery to Gaza through the sea corridor where humanitarian organizations will freely select and distribute this aid. In addition, he said that they have pressed and will continue to press Israel to create the conditions to ensure the safety of workers and the work of humanitarian organizations. He added that they would also press the Government of Israel to open additional land crossings, remove barriers to the delivery of humanitarian aid and “do much more to prevent the killing of aid workers and innocent civilians”.

    Asked if the US expects more from the EU, he said “in terms of any frustration with the EU, no, we are working closely with the EU”, adding that it is actively involved and that they expect that to continue as well as discussions with it but also with other sponsors. We expect, he added, that as we go forward, participation and help will increase.

    Vice Admiral Cooper emphasized that the US military's sole role in this effort is to provide logistical support to enable humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. He recalled that in March, the US President requested the creation of a temporary pier to deliver aid to Gaza, adding that they knew this would take two months. In the coming days, he said, they will have anchored the temporary jetty on the Gaza coast and begin delivering aid.

    This jetty, he reiterated, will only be there to deliver humanitarian aid and not has any other purpose.

    Noting that the delivery of humanitarian aid by sea is a unique and complex endeavor, he explained how it works. First, he said, humanitarian aid arrives in Cyprus by air or sea where it is inspected and put into pallets that are loaded onto large commercial or military ships that travel from Cyprus to a large floating platform several kilometers off the coast of Gaza. The floating platform acts as a work area to transfer pallets from larger commercial ships to smaller US military vessels that can get closer to shore. These smaller ships can carry from five to fifteen relief trucks. Smaller ships then take these trucks from the floating platform to a temporary pier.

    The process is working, he stressed, adding that today there are hundreds of tons of aid ready for delivery and thousands more tons of aid waiting. These initial deliveries will contain assistance from several partner nations, he said. “We see significant volumes of aid going to Cyprus for further distribution and we expect this flow to continue as more international donors contribute,” he concluded.

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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