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25 June, 2024
 
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Global diplomatic accord for Gaza aid fund

Diplomatic leaders call for increased access to Gaza through Israeli crossings

Newsroom / CNA

In a significant move to bolster humanitarian assistance to Gaza, ministers from Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Qatar, the United States, and a representative of the European Commission have pledged to explore the establishment of a common fund to support a maritime corridor from Cyprus to Gaza. This corridor aims to enhance the delivery of humanitarian aid and commercial commodities to the beleaguered region.

During a virtual ministerial meeting hosted by Cyprus's Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Constantinos Kombos, on March 13, officials, including US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, and others, emphasized the indispensable role of land routes through Egypt and Jordan, as well as entry points from Israel, for large-scale aid delivery. However, they recognized the potential of Ashdod port's opening to humanitarian assistance as a critical augmentation to these routes.

The ministers agreed to send senior officials to Cyprus the week of March 18 for detailed briefings on activating the maritime corridor. This includes U.S. military plans to construct a temporary pier for receiving substantial humanitarian shipments. Discussions will also cover the establishment and funding of a common fund to maintain the corridor, aligning both in-kind and financial contributions.

Highlighting the unanimous agreement on the corridor's necessity, the ministers affirmed it as part of a broader strategy to increase aid and commercial flows into Gaza through all viable routes. This includes expanding land pathways and continuing aerial deliveries, in coordination with UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, Sigrid Kaag. Kaag's role, as mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 2720, involves facilitating, coordinating, monitoring, and verifying aid flows into Gaza.

In conclusion, the international leaders underscored the urgent need for Israel to open additional crossings and ease customs restrictions to allow more aid, including essential life-saving supplies, to reach Gaza, including its northern regions. This collaborative effort reflects a committed international response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, seeking to ensure a sustained and efficient delivery of assistance to those in need.

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