BCS Tiller Pilots New Aid Route to Gaza

**New Maritime Corridor Opens to Deliver Aid to Gaza**

In an unprecedented move to combat the looming famine in Gaza, a pilot project has been launched to establish a new maritime aid corridor. The charity ship Open Arms, operated by Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms, embarked from Larnaca port in Cyprus early Tuesday, towing a barge laden with nearly 200 tons of essential food supplies such as flour, rice, and protein.

The journey, which under normal circumstances would take about 15 hours, may extend up to two days due to the heavy tow barge. The mission is primarily funded by the United Arab Emirates and organized by the U.S.-based World Central Kitchen (WCK), with the aim of creating a “maritime highway” continuously transporting meals to the Palestinian enclave.

WCK founders Jose Andres and CEO Erin Gore expressed their commitment to delivering millions of meals to families in dire need. With over 35 million meals already served in Gaza, WCK has an additional 500 tons of aid in Cyprus ready for dispatch.

This initiative comes as a response to the severe restrictions faced by Gaza since Israel imposed a naval blockade in 2007 following Hamas’s control of the territory. The blockade intensified after an attack on Israel by Hamas militants on October 7. In light of this, WCK is also constructing a landing jetty in Gaza using materials from destroyed buildings, separate from a U.S. plan to build a temporary pier for aid delivery.

The Cypriot government has highlighted the maritime corridor as a swift alternative for aid delivery, with cargoes undergoing security inspections in Cyprus by a team that includes Israeli personnel. This pre-screening aims to expedite the delivery process by removing potential delays at Gaza’s offloading point.

If successful, this mission will mark a significant easing of the Israeli blockade and could pave the way for more international efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The collaboration between WCK, Proactiva Open Arms, and various international partners underscores the global concern and proactive steps being taken to address the critical situation.

(Reuters/Pictures: George Christophorou)

A ship carrying nearly 200 tons of food aid for Gaza departed from a port in Cyprus early on Tuesday, marking a pilot project to establish a new maritime route for delivering aid to the region's population facing famine

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