How is aid getting into Gaza right now?

The international effort to provide Palestinians with essentials during wartime has become a Gordian knot of logistics

Photo composite of hands carrying aid packages trying to reach a map of Gaza
(Image credit: Illustration by Stephen Kelly / Getty Images)

As an occupied territory, the Gaza Strip has long been dependent on other nations for much of its basic needs. The past five months of war between Israeli forces and Hamas militants have pushed the already-beleaguered enclave into an even more extreme state of crisis. Late last year, the United Nations estimated that one in four Palestinians in the territory were starving, with the risk of a major famine "increasing every day." Since then the situation has only deteriorated further, as Israel continues to bombard the densely packed strip while at the same time throttling the amount of aid it allows through into the blockaded region. The number of trucks carrying food, concrete, and other supplies into Gaza has dropped by 75% from pre-war levels, per a United Nations tally.

As the humanitarian crisis worsens, a major international effort to increase the amount of aid delivered to Palestinians stuck in the territory is underway. In his State of the Union address last week, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would construct a pier off the Gaza coast to facilitate maritime delivery of assistance. On Friday the "first nautical delivery for hungry Palestinians" arrived from Cyprus — even as "tons of food and supplies sit on idling trucks in Egypt" awaiting to be allowed in, NBC News said. 

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Rafi Schwartz, The Week US

Rafi Schwartz has worked as a politics writer at The Week since 2022, where he covers elections, Congress and the White House. He was previously a contributing writer with Mic focusing largely on politics, a senior writer with Splinter News, a staff writer for Fusion's news lab, and the managing editor of Heeb Magazine, a Jewish life and culture publication. Rafi's work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GOOD and The Forward, among others.