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Secretary Antony J. Blinken Following Tour of a World Food Program Regional Coordination Warehouse

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We are intensely focused on the very difficult and, indeed, deteriorating food situation for men, women, and children in Gaza, and it’s something that we’re working on 24/7.  I want to commend the extraordinary work of the World Food Program to try to get more food to more people, more effectively.  They’re doing this also at tremendous risk to their team on the ground in Gaza every single day, along with other parts of the United Nations mission in Gaza.

The efforts right here to collect and distribute food to people in need are absolutely essential, and it’s very good to see this operation and the work that’s being done.  As you can see, much of the food that’s being prepared for delivery into Gaza is food that’s ready to eat because, under current conditions, it’s very difficult if not impossible for most people to actually be able to prepare and cook food, so this is the only way to effectively get what people need right now when they need it.

Jordan has played an instrumental role as well in trying to get assistance to Palestinians in need in Gaza.  First, along with the World Food Program, they’ve established a direct convoy route from Jordan to Gaza; that’s creating the ability to move more food to people who need it.  Second, of course, the Jordanians have done everything from airdrops in Gaza to setting up field hospitals.  I really commend the extraordinary leadership of his majesty, the Jordanian Government, in doing everything they can to help people who are so desperately in need in Gaza.

The United States has worked from day one to open access routes into Gaza to get assistance to people who need it.  We continue to work on that every single day, not only to keep the routes open but to multiply them and to maximize them to try to get, as I said, more food, more assistance to more people more effectively.

At the same time, we have been a very proud supporter of the World Food Program.  In fact, the United States provides about 50 percent of the World Food Program’s budget – about $3 billion over the last year – and we work hand in hand with the WFP not only in Gaza but in many other places around the world.  At the same time, we’ve sent about 500,000 pounds of nutritious food products to Egypt for distribution in Gaza over the last couple of months.

So, through all of these lines of effort, we’re determined to do everything we possibly can to ameliorate the situation for men, women, and children in Gaza when it comes to food, when it comes to humanitarian assistance more broadly.  This is an effort that’s absolutely essential, and it is imperative – imperative – that we maximize assistance to people in need.  Not only do we get it to Gaza and into Gaza, but once it’s in Gaza, that it can be effectively distributed to people who need it everywhere in Gaza.  We’ll be working on that in the days ahead as well.

Thanks very much.  Thank you.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-following-tour-of-a-world-food-program-regional-coordination-warehouse/

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