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UNICEF is optimistic about the possibility of additional convoys to Gaza.
Middle East World News

UNICEF is optimistic about the possibility of additional convoys to Gaza.

Twenty trucks transported essential items such as food, water, and medical supplies to Gaza, where there is a dire need for these resources. The dwindling stock and lack of healthcare have raised concerns about potential deaths from disease outbreaks.

Although they are pleased with the progress, organizations like UNICEF emphasize that this single convoy is not enough and that aid must be consistently and continuously delivered.

“A mere fraction of the whole”

UNICEF’s representative in Egypt, Jeremy Hopkins, stated that the organization’s donation to the convoy consisted of two trucks carrying 40,000 liters of bottled water. He acknowledged that this contribution is small in comparison to the vast needs in Gaza, particularly for a humanitarian ceasefire.

He urged the parties involved in the conflict to refrain from targeting health and education facilities, as this ensures safe delivery of aid to those in need.

Mr. Hopkins spoke to UN News several hours after the convoy passed through the Rafah crossing in southern Egypt, where hundreds more trucks are waiting should the border open up again.

He expressed gratitude to the hardworking UNICEF personnel who are still providing assistance despite the danger, and talked about the possibility of more aid convoys.

The clarity of this interview has been enhanced through editing.

Jeremy Hopkins reported that two UNICEF trucks carrying 40,000 litres of drinking water were included in today’s convoy. Although the amount is small in comparison to the overall need, it will still provide one day’s worth of drinking water to approximately 27,000 people. This highlights the pressing need for a continuous humanitarian corridor to allow for the delivery of necessary supplies. The hope is that more border posts will open to facilitate the entry of these supplies.

Can you provide details about the upcoming shipment and its determining factors? Are there any extra emergency provisions in case the next delivery is approved?

Jeremy Hopkins: We currently have a significant supply of water and water system equipment, as well as medicine and health system equipment. We also have a variety of specialized items for child protection and childcare. At the border, we have 12 trucks on standby that can be quickly transported over once the border opens. Additionally, we have a steady stream of supplies coming in by plane and truck from Cairo and other international locations, including medical supplies and water system materials. Our focus is on the urgent needs in Gaza, such as water, food, medicine, and fuel, so we are prioritizing our supply pipeline accordingly. For example, we currently have one million bottles of drinking water ready to be delivered. We have ample amounts of necessary materials, but we require consistent access through the corridor.

Can you provide any updates on the upcoming delivery?

Jeremy Hopkins stated that the authorities and various parties are actively discussing methods to sustainably manage the border. There is optimism that a solution will be reached and as more information becomes available, the specifics will be better understood.

UNICEF Representative in Egypt Jeremy Hopkins

Jeremy Hopkins, the UNICEF Representative in Egypt

According to UN News, there are currently 20 trucks operating within Gaza. Can you provide information on how the delivery of crucial supplies is organized and prepared within the Gaza Strip?

Jeremy Hopkins: I would like to acknowledge our hardworking team of UNICEF State of Palestine employees in Gaza who have been tirelessly providing assistance despite difficult circumstances. They have been working continuously since the start of the conflict and even before. Our colleagues in Gaza have been relocating health centers and stocking them with medical supplies, and keeping some water systems functioning. Although only five percent of the normal capacity is currently available, some water systems are still operating thanks to UNICEF’s support. I want to give credit to our colleagues for their outstanding efforts in Gaza.

The current situation shows that one million individuals have been forced to leave their homes. This includes at least 300,000 children who currently have no place to call home. As a result, the need for humanitarian aid is critical. According to global guidelines, each person should have access to 15 liters of water for basic living needs such as drinking, washing, and cooking. However, in Gaza, the amount of water available per person is less than three liters. While we are aware of these urgent needs and have the ability to provide aid, we are unable to do so without the necessary means of transportation. All we ask is for the corridor to be opened so that we may assist those in need.

You mentioned that the amount that arrived today is a small fraction of what is needed. Do you have an estimate of how long the supplies received in Gaza today will last for the people in need?

Jeremy Hopkins expressed concern that the current resources are not sufficient to meet the needs. He believes that at least 100 to 200 trucks per day, with supplies such as food, water, medicine and fuel, are necessary for an effective humanitarian response.

What obstacles are currently faced in distributing and transporting supplies throughout Gaza due to the absence of a ceasefire?

Jeremy Hopkins stated that the task ahead will be difficult. They have a responsibility to provide aid, driven by a humanitarian obligation. They also urge for an immediate end to hostilities, as this is the only way to ensure safe delivery of aid. Furthermore, they call on the opposing parties to refrain from targeting healthcare and education facilities, which are vital for the distribution of aid. It is also important to protect healthcare workers so they can fulfill their duties.