UK's biggest Gaza aid package will feed 275,000 people, government says

Credit: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

The UK's largest delivery of aid to Gaza has crossed the border and is in the process of being distributed to hundreds of thousands of people, the foreign secretary confirmed on Tuesday.

The package of more than 2,000 tonnes of food aid is being distributed by the UN's World Food Programme in Gaza and should feed 275,000 people, the government said.

Each food parcel is designed to meet the daily calorie intake for a family of five for seven and a half days, and contains canned vegetables, meat and fish and date bars.

The aid package also contains fortified wheat flour for use in bakeries, hot meals and ready-to-eat parcels.

A spokesperson from the Foreign Office did not specify how much the aid package had cost when asked by ITV News, but said the UK has provided £8.25 million to the World Food Programme and is "continuing to work with partners on the ground to support the humanitarian effort."

The department also did not say whether there would be other similar deliveries in future.

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron has said it is crucial to keep aid flowing in Gaza "to end the suffering".

"We need sustained humanitarian access by road to get more aid in. We continue to push Israel to allow more crossings to open and for longer, and for healthcare, water and sanitation to be restored”.

Lord Cameron previously told ITV News that the responsibility of getting aid into Gaza lies with Israel.

The delivery arrives as the food shortages in Gaza become increasingly desperate.

Famine is "imminent" in northern Gaza, according to recent research by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), who predict it could occur anytime between mid-March and May.

The organisation warned in December that widespread famine was likely if fighting continued and essential supplies were not delivered.

The package of more than 2,000 tonnes of food aid from the UK should feed 275,000 people, the government said. Credit: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

The report warned that if Israel targets Rafah, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to, more than half of Gaza's population could face famine.

Southern regions of Gaza are not quite as badly impacted, but still face a risk of famine in July, IPC projections suggest.

The UK delivered 150 tonnes of relief items to Gaza on March 13, the government said, including blankets and tents.

That aid is set to be distributed by UNICEF.

A full UK field hospital run by medical NGO UK-Med has also arrived in Gaza and is "operational and providing life-saving care", according to the foreign office.

Jordan has facilitated the UK's aid deliveries into Gaza and has been "instrumental" in supporting the British humanitarian response, government officials said.

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