CNA News

Amalthea forum in Larnaca aims to maximise operational capacity, Cypriot FM says

The aim of Thursday’s meeting of senior officials about the “Amalthea” initiative is to see how we can max up our operational capacity, said Foreign Affairs Minister Constantinos Kombos.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, held with 36 countries participating, Kombos said that among those present are also G7, the EU and the UN “and what is a very important presence of all major agencies relating or having to do with humanitarian aid, plus NGOs that are actively involved or could be utilised in the near future.”

He added that the aim of the forum today is to see “how we can max up our operational capacity, both in terms of departure in terms of means of Transport and also in relation to the reception in distribution methodology.”

The second issue, he added, “is the establishment of a fund that will be able to finance the operational activities of the plan.”

Thirdly, he said, it “is about integrating all the states and entities that are participating in order to have a synchronized pace for our actions.”

Regarding the number of boats leaving per day, the minister said “the answer is, as many as possible, provided that this is what the system, the plan can manage in terms of operational capacity.”

You have to remember, he underlined, “that there are limitations in terms of the reception and distribution and the whole point is not just to stockpile aid here and wait for it to go to Gaza.”

“It is about a quick turnaround so that we are as efficient as possible,” he said, integrating “all the interested entities and also managing the distribution in a way that maximises the flow of aid that reaches Gaza.”

The Minister also said the second boat is ready and is waiting at Larnaca Port to leave either by the end of the week or the beginning of next week. The delay was due to the weather conditions in Gaza, he added.