UN says floating aid pier off Gaza less viable than land routes-Xinhua

UN says floating aid pier off Gaza less viable than land routes

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-17 03:22:15

UNITED NATIONS, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The just completed floating dock off Gaza for aid deliveries is less viable than land routes, said a UN spokesman on Thursday.

"Getting aid to people in need into and across Gaza cannot and should not depend on a floating dock far from where needs are most acute," said Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"Land routes are the most viable, effective and efficient aid delivery method, which is why we need all crossing points to be opened. To stave off the horrors of famine, we must use the fastest and most obvious route to reach the people of Gaza -- and for that, we need access by land now," he said.

The pier, constructed by the U.S. military in cooperation with Israeli authorities, was successfully anchored on Thursday, it was announced by Israel and the United States.

Haq said the world body is finalizing operational plans to make sure that it is ready to handle aid once the floating dock is properly functioning, while ensuring the safety of UN staff.

"Community awareness and acceptance is paramount to ensure the safety and security of this operation. We're grateful for the efforts of Cyprus, supported by other member states, to sustain the maritime corridor as an additional route for aid to Gaza. And of course, we're thankful to the U.S. for all the work they've done in creating the floating dock," he said.

Haq highlighted the shortage of fuel for aid delivery.

It does not matter how the aid comes, whether by sea or by land, without fuel, it will not get to the people who need it, he said.

Fuel shipment into Gaza has basically stopped since the Israeli military began an offensive on Rafah on May 6, with very limited exceptions, said the spokesman.

In terms of aid getting into Gaza, some commodities have come in through the new opening at Zikim. But Zikim is in the northwest while the need is acute in the south. There is some limited aid coming into Gaza through Kerem Shalom, although the crossing continues not to be logistically viable, he said. "So basically, the bottom line is only small amounts of food are getting in and in terms of fuel, the fuel imports have, for all practical purposes, stopped. We desperately need more fuel."