U.S. Plans Partner-Funded Gaza Aid Mission Ahead Of Military Action

According to three people familiar with the plans and a U.S. official, the U.S. might approach allies and partners to fund a privately operated operation to bring aid to Gaza by sea. This operation could begin before a far more significant U.S. military effort. If funding can be secured, the plan may deliver massive volumes of supplies in weeks, outpacing the U.S. military’s floating pier system, which might take up to 60 days before operational.

The U.S. official and someone familiar with the idea stated that the U.S. would not fund the initiative. In contrast, two other individuals and the same U.S. official said that Washington might ask its allies to fund and support it through an international foundation that could accept money from governments and private sources.

While the U.S. government has prioritized the military’s plan of action, the commercial assignment may complement that effort by extending onshore support in Gaza. Biden’s administration has denied permitting U.S. troops to enter the enclave even as they develop the piers. During Biden’s State of the Union speech on Thursday, he also revealed that the U.S. military will establish a temporary port on the Mediterranean coast of Gaza to receive aid by sea.

 

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Image Credits: U.S. Central Command/Twitter

The U.N., however, has warned that a famine in the Gaza Strip is nearly inevitable without any urgent action. The conclusion that starvation has begun in the coastal enclave of 2.3 million individuals could come through by this week. A source familiar with the planning effort has said that the commercial option will likely become operational within 28 days once it is funded. A second source has revealed that it would take a month at least. The plan would fetch aid to Gaza on a tug-boat pushed barges and then deploy a crane to lift the containers to the shore.

Two sources said that the project would facilitate the delivery of containers of aid, which would be almost 200 truckloads equivalent to Gaza each day. This would be fewer than 500 truckloads of aid brought to the enclave per day before the war began. U.S. authorities state that the military mission will supply hundreds of additional truckloads of relief daily, including over two million meals, medicine, water, and temporary shelters. As reported by three sources, the commercial maritime operation is expected to cost roughly $200 million across six months, with one predicting a monthly cost of $30 million. Prominent former U.S. officials were involved with the planning.

According to the sources, Fogbow, an advisory business comprising former government officials from the U.S. Department of Defense, US AID, the CIA, and former U.N. officials, is leading the commercial planning endeavour. Reuters approached a Fogbow spokeswoman, who declined to comment. Jamie McGoldrick, the U.N. aid coordinator for the Palestinian Territory, said Fogbow was briefed this month regarding the plan it was working on with Qatar and the UAE.

It is a good idea, and it is likely to be helpful, McGoldrick informed Reuters. However, he added that the complications with successful aid delivery in Gaza and the Fogbow cost plan could make it relatively slower to hit off the ground. The more avenues to deliver in Gaza, the better, he explained. The U.S. official also cautioned that it would be up to the U.S. partners whether the assignment would proceed. The official added it was not evident if the commercial option would be faster than the strategy devised by the military.

The source stated they would want it to be a viable commercial option; thus, they are pleased to see a non-military proposal. When funded, the group plans to dredge a part of the shore in north Gaza to allow barges to approach the land and construct a heavy-lift platform for the containers, which will be held on land for distribution by the U.N. or other aid agencies.

Reference: India Today

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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