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Food For Gaza in support of the civilian population in the Strip – a mobile scanner for Cyprus Customs

This morning, the Gioia Tauro Port Authority handed over a state-of-the-art mobile scanner to be shipped to Cyprus to the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency and the Italian Protection Department, as part of the Italian government’s humanitarian initiative “Food for Gaza” in support of the Palestinian civilian population in the Strip.

“With this operation, we have further demonstrated the Italian government’s concrete commitment to tackling the humanitarian crisis and alleviating the suffering of the Palestinian population in Gaza,” commented Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Antonio Tajani, pointing out that “the mobile scanner will facilitate checks on the humanitarian products that will be sent via the “maritime corridor” from Cyprus to Gaza.” “I would also like to thank Grimaldi Lines, an important Italian shipping company in the maritime sector, which offered to transport the scanner to Cyprus free of charge – a further demonstration of how the Food for Gaza initiative is made possible by the joint commitment of institutions, associations and private individuals,” concluded Tajani.

The scanner is a mobile X-ray inspection system suitable for checking all types of goods. Owned by the Gioia Tauro Port Authority, it is being made available to the Cyprus Customs Authorities thanks to the coordination with the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency and the Italian Protection Department, which are actively participating in the humanitarian hub for Gaza in Cyprus. The Italian Customs Agency’s contribution also includes the deployment of three teams of trainers, who will assist Cyprus’ Authorities in the setting up and management of the equipment. In Cyprus, once vetted according to security standards agreed with Israel, humanitarian aid destined for Gaza will be sent either to Ashdod or to the dock built by the US in cooperation with the UN Agencies involved.

“The Agency’s commitment to supporting this humanitarian initiative will be utmost. We will network means and human resources to provide concrete answers to an emergency that we hope will soon come to an end,” commented Roberto Alesse, Director of the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency.

The operation forms part of the activities of Food for Gaza, the initiative promoted by the Italian government and launched by Minister Tajani on 11 March to provide aid to the civilian population of Gaza by supplying emergency food and medical supplies, and animal feed for supporting subsistence farming and livestock breeding. Control systems, such as the abovementioned scanner, or means of transport are also provided, these latter by donating trucks to the World Food Program to be used in the Strip for food distribution.

In addition to the World Food Program, the FAO, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Italian Red Cross, and the Italian Protection Department are also part of the Food for Gaza initiative, together with the Customs Agency and numerous other Italian entities.

In this context, Minister Tajani visited a Coldiretti collection centre in Nepi (VT) on Monday, while yesterday he held a video conference with Confagricoltura to take stock of and coordinate the next stages of the operation. The aid will be transported to the UN base in Brindisi, transferred by plane to Jordan, and then delivered to the Palestinian population through the open crossings.

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