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Charity ship embarks on mission to provide aid to Gaza from Cyprus

The Open Arms boat

In a pioneering effort to establish a new sea route for aid delivery to the brink-of-famine Gaza Strip, a charity ship named Open Arms set sail from Larnaca port in Cyprus early Tuesday. Carrying nearly 200 tonnes of food, including flour, rice, and protein on a towed barge, the Spanish charity-run vessel aims to reach Gaza, though the specific docking location remains undisclosed.

The initiative, primarily funded by the United Arab Emirates, is coordinated by the US-based charity World Central Kitchen (WCK), with the Spanish charity providing the ship. WCK founders Jose Andres and CEO Erin Gore expressed their goal to create a continuous maritime supply route, delivering millions of meals to Gaza.

This mission operates independently of a US plan to construct a floating pier near the Gaza coast for swift humanitarian aid delivery. Since Israel’s offensive in response to an October 7 attack by Hamas, Gaza has been isolated, lacking port infrastructure. WCK plans to establish a landing jetty in Gaza using materials from destroyed buildings and rubble. An additional 500 tonnes of aid in Cyprus is also earmarked for shipment to Gaza.

The efforts come amid a critical humanitarian situation in Gaza, emphasizing the urgency of providing essential supplies to the population.

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