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First “Food for Gaza” technical coordination round table

The first technical coordination round table for the “Food for Gaza” humanitarian food initiative was held today at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The initiative was launched on 11 March by Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Antonio Tajani, together with FAO Director General Qu Dongyu, World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Cindy McCain, and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Under Secretary General Xavier Castellanos, in the presence of Italy’s Civil Protection Chief Fabrizio Curcio.

The technical round table, coordinated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, was attended by representatives of FAO, WFP, FICROSS, and the Italian Red Cross and Civil Protection Department, who discussed existing issues and possible approaches to addressing the food emergency and the need for relief goods in the Gaza Strip – starting with food and water – the scarcity of which is having a serious impact especially on pregnant women and children. According to the UN, the conflict in Gaza has resulted in over 30,000 deaths to date, with 1.7 million people made homeless and around 80 per cent of key infrastructure, including hospitals and schools, now destroyed or damaged.

The table also discussed viable projects to assist the Palestinian population in Gaza and the West Bank.

“Food for Gaza” is a coordinated humanitarian intervention initiative that aims to strengthen cooperation with international bodies and regional partners in order to maximise the impact and efficiency of the efforts in support the population of Gaza. The table will also be open to other key actors in Italy, such as civil society organisations, universities, hospitals, local authorities and businesses.

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