A new humanitarian aid shipment comprised of supplies from an EU member-state was set to be transported by sea from Cyprus to Gaza on Friday. A vessel carrying the aid was destined to dock at a recently built pier constructed by the United States.

Through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, Romania is sending more than 88,000 cans of food to Palestinians in need. The EU Commission is covering the transport costs. An EU logistics hub in Cyprus has also been set up to handle the further flows of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

EU Commissioner of Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič stressed : “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.”

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.


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.