The European Commission, the Republic of Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the United States have issued a joint statement endorsing the activation of a maritime corridor to deliver humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

The joint release said that “the dedicated efforts of the UAE to mobilize support for the initiative” would soon see an initial shipment make its way to the Gaza coast.

The UN coordinator has a mandate from the Security Council to facilitate, boost and monitor the arrival of aid to more than two million Gazans in need.

A technical team from her office is now based in Cyprus, whose government has led the development of the new mechanism to ship aid from the Mediterranean island to Gaza via sea.

“Cyprus will soon convene senior officials to discuss how we can accelerate this maritime channel supporting those in need, supplementing land and air routes, including from Egypt and Jordan,” it is stated in the joint release.

The United States announced an emergency mission led by the U.S. military to establish a temporary pier in Gaza, in coordination with humanitarian partners and other countries, to enable the delivery of significant quantities of assistance by sea.

These efforts will be closely coordinated with the Government of Israel. 

The international coalition planning the maritime corridor said that the delivery of assistance to those who need it in Gaza by sea “will be complex” and must be part of a sustained effort to increase the flow of aid and commercial goods “through all possible routes”.

“Together, we must all do more to ensure aid gets to people who desperately need it,” the statement concluded.