Aid agencies supply essentials to Palestinians

Published on 21 January 2009

Humanitarian aid agencies poured resources into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, providing basic essentials to thousands of Palestinians in need of emergency aid after Israel's 22-day offensive in Gaza. Israel, which controls border entry points into Gaza, said it hoped to triple the number of trucks being allowed to deliver assistance to the coastal territory. [...] Dealing with the large number of amputees among the 5,300 injured is also a major priority. The World Food Programme, which provides emergency food assistance to Gaza's non-refugee population, estimated up to 365,000 Gazans are now in need of its help, up from 265,000 before. The group has 4,400 tonnes of food already in Gaza - including wheat flour, cooking oil, chickpeas and sugar - which is being distributed throughout the territory. "We are continuing with distributions and getting what we need across the border into Gaza," said spokesman Robin Lodge. "Next week we'll make a more detailed food security assessment, but at the moment we are making emergency deliveries, including to some of the 40,000 seeking shelter in U.N. compounds." He said Israel was cooperating with allowing food to flow into Gaza, and aid groups were coordinating their work. "Everything has been going very smoothly so far," he said.

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