Statement by Hiba Tibi, CARE West Bank and Gaza Country Director

My team and I welcome the news of the arrival of 20 aid trucks as this is the first time in two weeks that any basic supplies have entered the Gaza Strip, where approximately 2.3 million people – half of them children – currently reside in dire conditions. The people of Gaza are enduring thirst, hunger, shelling, and fear, so even this small step will save lives.

But much more is required. To give you an idea of the scale, the United Nations speaks of a minimum of 100 trucks needed per day. We need safe access for essential humanitarian aid, including water, food, fuel, and medical supplies. We need the water taps to be turned on again, as thousands of families are now drinking salty and contaminated water and the risk of waterborne diseases is increasing by the hour. We need the electricity supply to be re-established, to power hospital generators on which the lives of the wounded, of babies in incubators, and of patients on dialysis depend. With medical care on its knees, the injured and the sick who cannot be treated locally must be allowed to leave safely for hospitals outside the Strip.

And finally, there needs to be a sustained halt to the violence. Aid cannot be distributed under the bombs. Time is not a luxury the people of Gaza have.