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UNRWA appeals for increased humanitarian aid to alleviate growing crisis in Gaza

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UNRWA appeals for increased humanitarian aid to alleviate growing crisis in Gaza

2024-06-20 22:32 Last Updated At:06-21 00:17

Humanitarian aid is not reaching Gaza smoothly, with only one-tenth of the required amount per day making its way in, according to Jonathan Fowler, spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

In an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN), Fowler described the challenges of delivering aid in Gaza, emphasizing that the current amount of aid entering the region is insufficient.

"Unfortunately, they're not getting through smoothly at all. The problem is humanitarian workers, including UNRWA staff but also people from other parts of the UN system, have to be able to get to the border to pick up those trucks to then distribute them to the population. And this is where it's extremely problematic at the moment. One of the reasons for this is that this is still an active war zone. This means, for example, over yesterday, the day before, actually we were able to only get in about 60 trucks. Now 60 trucks is not even, it's about 1/10 of what is required per day to meet the minimum survival needs of the population of the Gaza Strip. So yes, some aid is coming in, but it's a tiny amount. It's just not enough," said Fowler.

Fowler highlighted the severity of the situation and the profound impact on the agency.

"It's extremely serious. Solid data is very hard to come by because of the nature of this war, but we know what we see on the ground. So the level of human tragedy is huge, and this actually affects us as an agency. We have 13,000 staff in the Gaza Strip. And before the war, we made many a provider of education and health care. Of those staff, 193 so far been killed in the war. And this is the highest death toll of UN personnel in the history of the United Nations. So the combination of factors mean that this crisis has grown very, very quickly into something which is unprecedented in scale, huge in damage and the aftermath of this is going to be enormous and it's going to be very, very difficult to tackle," said Fowler.

Regarding the ceasefire, Fowler believes it is just the initial step towards a solution, stressing that the recovery process in Gaza will be immense, especially restoring infrastructure and the education system.

"The ceasefire is the first step, because the war has to end in order for recovery to begin. Basically, that's the only the beginning of it. It's just the first step. It's an essential first step, but the next step will then be to help people to rebuild. And I mean that in the sense of rebuilding psychologically as well as rebuilding infrastructure. But the scale of destruction of buildings in the Gaza Strip is shocking. So for example, getting kids back into education is going to be extremely hard because many of the schools have been destroyed. So in fact, we are already working, even while the war continues, to try to restore some level of informal education, but getting kids back to formal education is going to be very hard. It's going to be a lost generation on the education front otherwise," said Fowler.

UNRWA appeals for increased humanitarian aid to alleviate growing crisis in Gaza

UNRWA appeals for increased humanitarian aid to alleviate growing crisis in Gaza

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Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

2024-07-20 07:14 Last Updated At:08:27

China's border ports have been implementing a range of cargo facilitation policies, leading to a surge in cargo throughput, with a nearly 57 percent year-on-year increase in the inspection of transportation vehicles in the first half of 2024.

According to the data recently released by the National Immigration Administration, China's ports inspected about 15.42 million vehicle, vessel, and train trips in the first six months of this year, a 56.9 percent jump from the same period last year.

The border ports have rolled out a series of measures to streamline customs clearance for cargo. At major land ports, fast lanes have been set up for the rapid release of critical supplies. At major seaports, online declaration has been enabled for border inspection boarding. In international shipping, arriving vessels can have much faster departures thanks to the efficient inspections.

The combined sea-rail transport model, utilizing maritime routes and the China-Europe freight train service, has made the port of Lianyungang in east China's Jiangsu Province one of the most convenient and economical gateways to the sea. It handles more than 80 percent of Kazakhstan's transit cargo to China.

At the port, containers carrying with auto parts, home appliances, and other products are offloaded, hoisted onto trucks, and then loaded onto China-Europe freight trains bound for destinations like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

"From unloading to boarding the freight train, the entire process can now be completed in as little as eight minutes. These containers are expected to reach the border ports within six days, greatly reducing transportation time and cost," said a logistics company employee.

The Youyi Pass in the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, also known as Friendship Pass, on the China-Vietnam border is an important cross-national trade channel. To enhance the clearance efficiency of imported fruits, the port has established "durian-only" channels and green channels for agricultural products, as well as an intelligent inspection assistance system. A Chinese cargo truck can now clear customs in just 15 seconds.

As the country's largest land port for fruit imports and exports, the Youyi Pass saw fruit imports worth 23.92 billion yuan (about 3.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2023, a 262.9-percent surge year on year.

Pattama Narmwong, chairman of the Thai Mangosteen Association, noted that the greatly improved clearance efficiency has considerably cut down on transportation time and costs, supporting the burgeoning development of fruit trade between China and Southeast Asian nations.

Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

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