First ship carrying food aid arrives in Gaza, ‘preparations are underway’ for sending second

The first ship carrying 200 tons of food collected by World Central Kitchen (WCK) arrived in Gaza on Friday and, the organization announced, more will arrive soon.

WCK, the charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, released a statement saying its team had unloaded aid to Gaza. The food was transported on a boat from the Spanish humanitarian group Open Arms and is part of WCK’s efforts “to bring as much aid as possible to the Palestinians by sea.”

The ship left Cyprus on Tuesday and WCK reported that preparations were already underway to send a second boat carrying “hundreds of additional tonnes of aid, as well as heavy machinery to speed up the unloading process”.

Andrés, posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, shared the news of the ship’s arrival.

“We did it! @WCKitchen and @openarms_fund teams are working hard to unload the 200 tons… 12 trucks! It was a test! To learn… we could bring in thousands of tons per week… with what we learn , we will improve,” he said online.

“I want us to build a highway that allows for a constant flow of aid over the sea, as just another point of access to Gaza that we desperately need,” said Erin Gore, CEO of WCK, who was recently on the land in Cyprus, in a press release.

Delivery includes rice, flour, legumes, canned vegetables and proteins. It was organized alongside the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus, the press release said.

The United States and other allies began sending airdrops of aid to civilians in Gaza in early March. President Biden announced that the US military would build a temporary port on the coast of Gaza to increase aid deliveries by sea. However, construction of the floating jetty is expected to take up to two months.

WCK’s journey from Cyprus to Gaza covered approximately 200 miles across the Mediterranean Sea.

Since the war began on October 7, more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reported. According to the United Nations, a quarter of the territory’s population is dying of starvation.

The aid deliveries come as the United States and other countries continue to negotiate a temporary ceasefire with Israel and Hamas, which has not yet been reached.

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