The Netherlands makes 10 million euros available for maritime corridor to Gaza

The Netherlands will contribute 10 million euros to the renewed initiative to get aid into Gaza by sea. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Geoffrey van Leeuwen, announced this in Cyprus during a visit to the port of Larnaca on Tuesday. The contribution will go into a fund to be set up by the United Nations, Cyprus, the European Union, the United States and other international partners. The fund will be used to facilitate the provision of aid to Gaza by sea.

The minister said, ‘The people of Gaza urgently need a lot more food, water and medicine. The Netherlands urges all parties to expand access over land, which is the most effective and efficient way to get large amounts of aid into Gaza. But until this can be done, we will continue to explore all possible options. We are already contributing by means of air drops, and now of course we’re also facilitating the delivery of aid by sea.’

As well as visiting the port, the minister also went to see the location where goods can be inspected before being loaded onto ships once approved by Israel. He also spoke with representatives of the centre that will coordinate aid contributions from the various countries. ‘It’s very important to hear at first hand from the Cypriot authorities and other partners how the preparations for the corridor are progressing and what problems they are encountering in practice,’ the minister said.

Since the start of the conflict, the Dutch government has pledged an extra €56 million for humanitarian aid for Gaza. That is in addition to the annual amount of €51 million that the Netherlands provides for development cooperation and humanitarian aid for the Palestinians. The Netherlands also makes annual contributions to UN organisations and the Red Cross, thus indirectly supporting their efforts in Gaza as well.