UN / UNICEF RAFAH CROSSING OPENING INTERVIEW

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21-Oct-2023 00:08:16
As the opening of the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza enabled a first convoy of trucks to bring in urgently needed aid, a UNICEF official in Egypt said the 40,000 litres of water delivered today are “a drop in the ocean” that will allow UNICEF to reach “about 27,000 people with one day supply.” UNIFEED / FILE

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STORY: UN / UNICEF RAFAH CROSSING OPENING INTERVIEW
TRT: 08:15
SOURCE: UNICEF
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNICEF ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 21 OCTOBER 2023, RAFAH CROSSING BORDER, STATE OF PALESTINE / 21 OCTOBER 2023, CAIRO EGYPT

SHOTLIST:

21 OCTOBER 2023, RAFAH CROSSING BORDER, STATE OF PALESTINE

1. Various shots, UNICEF supplies being transported and delivered

21 OCTOBER 2023, CAIRO EGYPT

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Hopkins, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Egypt:
“Today, we were able to include two UNICEF trucks in the convoy with drinking water. 40,000 litres. It's a drop in the ocean, literally almost. And that will allow us to reach about 27,000 people with one day supply, because a very, very small amount went through today. So, which means it reinforces the urgent need to have a sustained humanitarian corridor that is open for supplies. And of course, we hope that there will be additional borders, border posts opening so that the necessary supplies can get in.”

21 OCTOBER 2023, RAFAH CROSSING BORDER, STATE OF PALESTINE

3. Various shots, UNICEF supplies being transported and delivered

21 OCTOBER 2023, CAIRO EGYPT

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Hopkins, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Egypt:
“We have quite a good pipeline of water and water systems, equipment, medicine and health systems equipment and a number of other items specialized both for child protection and childcare. We have, I think, 12 trucks loaded on standby at the border that can be crossed over in a matter of hours the next time it opens. And we have a pipeline coming in by plane and by truck from Cairo and from international destinations with more medical supplies, more water works, water systems, supplies. This is the kind of priorities, because we know that the priorities in Gaza right now are water, food, medicine and fuel, and so that we are prioritizing our pipeline accordingly. But for example, we have one million bottles of drinking water in the pipeline ready that just for example. We have big quantities of the necessary materials. We just need the corridor to be open for a sustained, continuous and continuous basis.”

21 OCTOBER 2023, RAFAH CROSSING BORDER, STATE OF PALESTINE

5. Various shots, UNICEF supplies being transported and delivered

21 OCTOBER 2023, CAIRO EGYPT

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Hopkins, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Egypt:
“We know that the authorities and the different parties are continuing to discuss how to manage this border in a more sustainable way, and we have every hope that they will do so. I think the details will become clearer as they become clear.”

21 OCTOBER 2023, RAFAH CROSSING BORDER, STATE OF PALESTINE

7. Various shots, UNICEF supplies being transported and delivered

21 OCTOBER 2023, CAIRO EGYPT

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Hopkins, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Egypt:
“I want to first recognize that we have a very dedicated team of UNICEF, the State of Palestine staff in Gaza, who have been working day and night of the terrible, terrible conditions to deliver assistance and assistance has been ongoing since the beginning. And of course, prior to this particular terrible, terrible round of conflict. So, I know that our colleagues in Gaza have been repositioning the health centres with pre-positioned medical supplies, keeping some of the water systems running. I know we're down to 5 percent of the normal capacity, but there are some system water systems running. The only salination front that's still going is done so with UNICEF support. So, our colleagues pay tribute to them doing a fantastic job in Gaza. Now, what we know about the evolving needs is there are 1 million people displaced. We know that at least 300,000 children are displaced. That means they have no home right now or they're not at home. And that means that the humanitarian needs are extremely urgent. What does that mean in practice? If, for example, according to international standards, each person should have 50 litres of water to live in health and dignity, that's drinking and washing and cooking and everything else? Right now, it's down to little less than three litres of water per person. But that's what's that's what's available right now in Gaza. So, we have these kinds of needs, and we know how to respond. We simply need the corridor to be opened so that we can respond.”

21 OCTOBER 2023, RAFAH CROSSING BORDER, STATE OF PALESTINE

9. Various shots, UNICEF supplies being transported and delivered

21 OCTOBER 2023, CAIRO EGYPT

10. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Hopkins, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Egypt:
“What went in today cannot cover the needs at all. It's a very tiny, tiny proportion of what is needed. So, we need to have instead of 20 trucks with at least 100, 200 trucks going in a day. That's just it depends what's on the trucks. But approximately speaking with food and water, medicine and fuel, that is a necessary condition for us to be able to respond to the humanitarian lifesaving requirements and needs right now.”

21 OCTOBER 2023, RAFAH CROSSING BORDER, STATE OF PALESTINE

11. Various shots, UNICEF supplies being transported and delivered

21 OCTOBER 2023, CAIRO EGYPT

12. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Hopkins, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Egypt:
“It is going to be challenging. We need to deliver, and we have a humanitarian imperative which is driving us. At the same time, we do call for a cessation of hostilities immediately. Of course, that is the only way that we can actually deliver safely. But at the same time, we also call on the parties to the conflict to avoid any targeting of health and education facilities, which allows us to deliver the aid safely to the to the to the health facilities and everywhere that they are needed. And we also remind the parties that health staff need to be protected in order to carry out their mandate.”

21 OCTOBER 2023, RAFAH CROSSING BORDER, STATE OF PALESTINE

13. Various shots, UNICEF supplies being transported and delivered

STORYLINE:

As the opening of the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza enabled a first convoy of trucks to bring in urgently needed aid, a UNICEF official in Egypt said the 40,000 litres of water delivered today (21 Oct) are “a drop in the ocean” that will allow UNICEF to reach “about 27,000 people with one day supply.”

Jeremy Hopkins, who is UNICEF’s Representative in Egypt said, “a very, very small amount went through today. So, which means it reinforces the urgent need to have a sustained humanitarian corridor that is open for supplies. And of course, we hope that there will be additional borders, border posts opening so that the necessary supplies can get in.”

Hopkins said, “we have quite a good pipeline of water and water systems, equipment, medicine and health systems equipment and a number of other items specialized both for child protection and childcare. We have, I think, 12 trucks loaded on standby at the border that can be crossed over in a matter of hours the next time it opens. And we have a pipeline coming in by plane and by truck from Cairo and from international destinations with more medical supplies, more water works, water systems, supplies. This is the kind of priorities, because we know that the priorities in Gaza right now are water, food, medicine and fuel, and so that we are prioritizing our pipeline accordingly. But for example, we have one million bottles of drinking water in the pipeline ready that just for example. We have big quantities of the necessary materials. We just need the corridor to be open for a sustained, continuous and continuous basis.”

44,000 bottles of drinking water supplied by UNICEF – just enough for 22,000 people for 1 day – were driven through the Rafah Crossing today as part of a 20-truck convoy with the Egyptian Red Crescent, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Hopkins said, “we know that the authorities and the different parties are continuing to discuss how to manage this border in a more sustainable way, and we have every hope that they will do so. I think the details will become clearer as they become clear.”

Large parts of Gaza’s infrastructure, including critical water and sanitation systems, have been reduced to rubble in nearly two weeks of escalating violence. Water production capacity is at 5 per cent of normal levels, and the nearly 2.3 million residents in Gaza are now surviving on 3 litres of water per person per day.

Hopkins said, “I want to first recognize that we have a very dedicated team of UNICEF, the State of Palestine staff in Gaza, who have been working day and night of the terrible, terrible conditions to deliver assistance and assistance has been ongoing since the beginning. And of course, prior to this particular terrible, terrible round of conflict. So, I know that our colleagues in Gaza have been repositioning the health centres with pre-positioned medical supplies, keeping some of the water systems running. I know we're down to 5 percent of the normal capacity, but there are some system water systems running. The only salination front that's still going is done so with UNICEF support. So, our colleagues pay tribute to them doing a fantastic job in Gaza. Now, what we know about the evolving needs is there are 1 million people displaced. We know that at least 300,000 children are displaced. That means they have no home right now or they're not at home. And that means that the humanitarian needs are extremely urgent. What does that mean in practice? If, for example, according to international standards, each person should have 50 litres of water to live in health and dignity, that's drinking and washing and cooking and everything else? Right now, it's down to little less than three litres of water per person. But that's what's that's what's available right now in Gaza. So, we have these kind of needs, and we know how to respond. We simply need the corridor to be opened so that we can respond.”

About a million people are displaced, around half of them children, and many have taken shelter in overcrowded shelters with extremely limited access to water, sanitation and hygiene – conditions that are especially dangerous for young children.

Hwopkins said, “hat went in today cannot cover the needs at all. It's a very tiny, tiny proportion of what is needed. So, we need to have instead of 20 trucks with at least 100, 200 trucks going in a day. That's just it depends what's on the trucks. But approximately speaking with food and water, medicine and fuel, that is a necessary condition for us to be able to respond to the humanitarian lifesaving requirements and needs right now.”

He said, “it is going to be challenging. We need to deliver, and we have a humanitarian imperative which is driving us. At the same time, we do call for a cessation of hostilities immediately. Of course, that is the only way that we can actually deliver safely. But at the same time, we also call on the parties to the conflict to avoid any targeting of health and education facilities, which allows us to deliver the aid safely to the to the to the health facilities and everywhere that they are needed. And we also remind the parties that health staff need to be protected in order to carry out their mandate.”

UNICEF has prepositioned additional emergency supplies for up to 250,000 people at the Rafah crossing that can be brought into Gaza in a matter of hours, with more enroute. Humanitarian supplies must be allowed to safely reach children and families in need wherever they are, in accordance with the rules of war.
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UNIFEED / UNICEF
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unifeed231021c
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3121782