Middle East

Nonprofit says it will distribute 200 tons of aid once ship reaches Gaza

From CNN's Muhammad Darwish and Niamh Kennedy in London and Richard Allen Greene in Jerusalem

World Central Kitchen, the nongovernmental organization that launched an aid ship from Cyprus to Gaza on Tuesday, says it plans to distribute aid itself once the vessel reaches Gaza.

A WCK spokesperson told CNN the organization will distribute 200 tons of food, which equates to roughly 500,000 meals. WCK is working with thousands of contractors and volunteers locally to organize and distribute the aid, the spokesperson added.

Questions have been raised about distribution plans for the ship once it makes its much-anticipated landing in Gaza. Recent airdrops and truck deliveries in Gaza have proved dangerous as crowds of civilians have overcrowded at delivery points, fighting desperately to get their hands on aid packages amid widespread hunger in the strip.

WCK said it had partnered with the United Arab Emirates, Cyprus and the Spanish nongovernmental organization Open Arms to coordinate the dispatch.

The organization said it couldn’t disclose the location of the jetty in Gaza where the Open Arms ship will land, but said that its teams are “working on it 24/7.”

Separately, Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) told CNN Tuesday that Israel had “participated in the process of inspecting the ship.” The agency did not specify when or where. COGAT inspects aid going into Gaza and has been accused by aid agencies of denying access for arbitrary reasons or no reason at all.

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