Egypt’s Food Bank has contributed more than 2,000 tonnes of relief to the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the Israeli aggression on the strip until 18 November, according to Mohsen Sarhan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Egyptian Food Bank. The bank aims to set up a kitchen inside the Palestinian side to serve the refugees.
The Egyptian Food Bank sends about 150 trucks carrying food to the Gaza Strip. The bank is primarily concerned with providing food to Egyptians, but with the deterioration of the situation in Gaza, the bank decided, following presidential directives, to contribute to sending aid to the Strip.
The contents of the trucks are handed over to the Palestinian Red Crescent after crossing the Rafah crossing into the Gaza Strip. The trucks are then crossed to the Al-Awja crossing for inspection by the Israeli army. The inspection operation aims to disrupt the entry of aid and provoke relief workers.
Sarhan explained that the Israeli side sometimes rejects some necessary items, such as medical holders because they consider them a kind of weapon. Most of the materials that enter are long-term materials, such as canned legumes, honey, and water, that can withstand waiting.
The Egyptian Food Bank is preparing for a huge truck that will enter the strip soon in coordination with the Egyptian Red Crescent and the Palestinian Red Crescent. The sources of donations are from both individuals and companies, according to Sarhan. The bank accepts donations regardless of whether the donating company is among the companies involved in the boycott campaigns, because the strip is in dire need of any relief materials, and they have not received any objection from the Palestinian side regarding any of these materials, such as mineral water and powdered milk.
Thousands of volunteers of all ages participate in packaging operations in the packing centres of the bank.
Sarhan pointed out that the bank has established several working kitchens to provide meals to all the injured and their companions in the hospitals of the cities of Al-Arish and Bir Al-Abd, in addition to providing meals to all relief workers. “We hope to set up a kitchen inside the Palestinian city of Rafah, but it is still a security risk for the participants.”
“Our programmes in Egypt are still working with the same strength and effectiveness,” he said.
Regarding the level of donations the bank receives, Sarhan explained that the donations have not decreased in recent years, but food prices have risen sharply, so in the current period “we are trying to compress expenses on some things not related to the food itself so that we can serve the same number.”