Humanitarian Aid Fills in Gaza’s Tunnel Gap

Published on 22 January 2009

[...] More than 37,000 tons of staple foodstuff and emergency medical supplies entered the Gaza Strip through one Israeli crossing from the time Israel began its military offensive until it declared a unilateral cease-fire on January 17. [...] The main problem of getting supplies into Gaza during the operation was not a lack of will or resources, but a limited capacity of passage, Robin Lodge, a spokesman for the World Food Programme told TML. “When the crisis began there were between 20 and 30 trucks going though Kerem Shalom a day, and now that’s up to 90 with a maximum capacity of 120, but it’s still not enough,” Lodge said while the operation was ongoing. The WFP provided basic rations that include wheat flour, vegetable oil, split peas and sugar to around 135,000 non-refugee Gazans, totaling more than 3,700 tons. Lodge said the WFP was already backlogged before the operation began, because of the blockade that did not allow it to bring in all its supplies. [...] The organization is planning a month-long distribution of ready-to-eat food, on top of its regular rations, which will include nutritious date-bars manufactured in Egypt.

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