President Sheikh Mohamed discusses aid to Gaza with UN food chief

UAE leader emphasised the urgent need to secure humanitarian corridors

President Sheikh Mohamed receives Cindy McCain, executive director of the World Food Programme prior to a meeting. UAE Presidential Court
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President Sheikh Mohamed and the head of the UN World Food Programme have discussed co-operation between UAE entities and the WFP to deliver relief to the Gaza Strip, given the worsening humanitarian conditions in the area.

Sheikh Mohamed on Thursday received Cindy McCain, executive director at Qasr Al Shati in Abu Dhabi.

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohamed emphasised the urgent need to secure humanitarian corridors which would allow regional and international organisations to provide aid.

The meeting also outlined co-operation between the UAE and WFP in addressing food security challenges and ensuring food provision for those in need in impoverished regions, disaster-affected areas and zones experiencing conflict and crises.

Sheikh Mohamed stressed the UAE's commitment to supporting the WFP's global work.

He also highlighted the significance of improving co-operation around the world when addressing global food crises, given their close link to international peace and security.

Ms McCain expressed her thanks to the UAE for its co-operation with the WFP, particularly in supporting those affected in conflict and disaster zones.

She also praised the UAE's initiatives in addressing global food security challenges and its strategies to promote sustainable food security solutions.

The meeting was also attended by Minister of State for International Co-operation, Reem Al Hashimy.

This week, Sheikh Mohamed held talks with global leaders on the Israel-Gaza war, during which he called for civilian lives to be protected and for crucial humanitarian aid to be delivered.

He underlined the need to halt violence in Gaza during calls with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, state news agency Wam reported on Monday.

On Wednesday, he discussed the worsening humanitarian crisis with UN Secretary General António Guterres.

During the call, he emphasised the need to intensify diplomatic efforts to open critical humanitarian corridors and establish a ceasefire to enable the delivery of relief and medical aid.

On Thursday, an Egyptian television network closely connected to the government, AlQahera News, said lorries loaded with humanitarian aid will move into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing in Egypt on Friday.

It said around 20 lorries carrying food, water and medical supplies are set to move into Gaza.

The lorries are part of some 100 that have been queuing on the Egyptian side of the crossing for about a week.

News of aid moving into Gaza comes as the number of Palestinian deaths reaches 3,785. The number of Israelis killed is about 1,400.

Updated: October 19, 2023, 5:50 PM