UN food agency delivers food to Gaza through Rafah crossing

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Food distribution in Rafah, Gaza by the World Food Programme (WFP). (file photo) UN Photo/Evan Schneider

For the first time since 2007 the UN food agency was on Wednesday able to send food into Gaza using the Rafah crossing from Egypt.

Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade for seven years, which has prevented food and other supplies from reaching the territory.

The World Food Programme (WFP) says its humanitarian convoy of 18 trucks carried enough food to feed approximately 150,000 people for five days.

It travelled for seven hours from Alexandria, where the food was procured, across the Sinai Peninsula to reach the Rafah crossing.

WFP Country Director in Palestine, Pablo Recalde says the opening of the crossing will improve the agency's access to Gaza.

"Up till now we have actually been, at least for the food assistance, we have been only accessing it through the Karem Shalom crossing. Rafah will allow us to certainly bring in assistance from also another hub where we can also purchase it in Egypt which usually is also cheaper than in many other places where we are importing it from. So it is a critical issue. It will allow more volume of assistance to come into Gaza and it will actually allow us to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of what we are doing." (28")

WFP says that it needs approximately $70 million for its humanitarian operation in Gaza for a period of three months.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration:  1’34″


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