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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
News article17 May 2024Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)2 min read

EU mobilises assistance for Gaza via Cyprus Maritime Corridor

2 duty officers seen from the back, inpecting goods placed in a warehouse.
© Romanian General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations

A new aid shipment from Cyprus to Gaza via the Maritime Corridor and the newly constructed US pier is taking place today, carrying EU supplies. 

Through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, Romania is sending more than 88,000 cans of food to Palestinians in need. The Commission covers the transport costs of this delivery. An EU logistics hub in Cyprus has also been set up to help handle the further flow of assistance to Gaza.

The EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre remains in close contact with Member States and humanitarian partners to mobilise offers of assistance via the Maritime Corridor with a view to increasing aid supplies.

This new maritime aid delivery comes on top of the over 2,000 metric tonnes channelled already by EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights and the €193 million in EU humanitarian funding allocated for Palestinians in need this year.

The maritime corridor is complementary to, and not intended to replace, existing land routes to Gaza, such as through the Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings. The EU calls on Israel to grant sustained access using new routes such as through the Erez crossing and through use of the port of Ashdod.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: "I welcome the support of Cyprus through an EU logistics hub established there and the readiness of Romania to participate in this first shipment of EU aid via the new US pier. The EU will continue to do its utmost to alleviate the suffering of civilians in Gaza. However, it is evident that there is no meaningful substitute to land routes via Egypt and Jordan and entry points from Israel into Gaza for aid delivery at scale. The maritime corridor can only be part of a sustained effort to surge humanitarian aid and commercial commodities into Gaza through all possible routes.  In line with its obligations under International Humanitarian Law, I call on Israel to expand deliveries by land and to immediately open additional crossings to get more aid into and throughout Gaza unimpededly."


This first EU shipment using the US-constructed pier follows the joint announcement made on 8 March 2024, by the European Commission, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the Republic of Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States, expressing their intent to open a maritime corridor to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza by sea.

On 28 March 2024, UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza Sigrid Kaag requested assistance for Gaza under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism including through the Cyprus Maritime Corridor.