As U.S. Rushes to Build Gaza Port, Major Challenges Loom

As the United States military rushes to assemble a temporary port on the Gaza coast, daunting practical challenges to the seaborne humanitarian effort to stave off famine in the territory are becoming increasingly apparent. The obstacles include logistics, cost and security issues, diplomats and aid officials say.

But the desperate conditions in Gaza, depicted in images of starving children, make the American-led international plan a necessity, they say, especially given the tight security imposed by Israel that is slowing land shipments of food, water and medicine.

Even if it can overcome the hurdles, the international initiative is likely to take several weeks, if not months, to reach its goal of delivering two million meals a day to the people of Gaza.

Citing the spiraling humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, Canada and Sweden are resuming funding for the main United Nations agency supporting Palestinian refugees in Gaza. The governments said the embattled agency had taken steps to improve accountability amid accusations that some of its employees had links to Hamas.

President Biden announced in his State of the Union speech on Thursday that the United States military would assemble a temporary port on the Gaza coast.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The two countries were among more than a dozen that suspended payments to the aid organization, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, known as UNRWA, after accusations in January by Israel that a dozen of its 13,000 employees in Gaza had been involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks on Israel or their aftermath.

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