Aerial Warfare

Royal Air Force Atlas Airdrops Over 10 Tonnes of Food Supplies to Civilians in Gaza

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Royal Air Force Atlas Airdrops Over 10 Tonnes of Food Supplies to Civilians in Gaza

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Royal Air Force Atlas Airdrops Over 10 Tonnes of Food Supplies to Civilians in Gaza
Royal Air Force Atlas Airdrops Over 10 Tonnes of Food Supplies to Civilians in Gaza

The Royal Air Force airdropped over 10 tonnes of food supplies into Gaza for the first time on Monday, as part of international efforts to provide life-saving assistance to civilians. The aid, which consists of water, rice, cooking oil, flour, tinned goods and baby formula, will support the people of Gaza. The Defence Secretary authorised the airdrop following an assessed reduction in threat to the military mission and risk to civilians. An RAF A400M flew from Amman, Jordan, to airdrop this aid along the northern coastline of Gaza, as part of the Jordanian-led international aid mission. UK personnel worked closely with the Royal Jordanian Air Force to plan and conduct this mission.

“The UK has already tripled our aid budget to Gaza, but we want to go further in order to reduce human suffering. This airdrop has provided a further way to deliver humanitarian support and I thank the RAF personnel involved in this essential mission, as well as our Jordanian partners for their leadership,” Grant Shapps Secretary of State for Defence said.

RAF airdrop of humanitarian aid for Gaza, 25 March 2024 [Crown Copyright: AS1 Leah Jones]
RAF airdrop of humanitarian aid for Gaza, 25 March 2024 (Crown Copyright: AS1 Leah Jones)

The drop zones were surveyed before and during the airdrop to ensure aid is delivered to civilians as safely as possible. The airdrop is part of ongoing UK efforts to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza and follows recent land deliveries of 2,000 tonnes of UK food aid and 150 tonnes of UK-funded relief aid. The UK has previously supported international airdrops, providing around 600 parachutes at the request of Jordan and Bahrain and supplying critical aid for a Jordanian airdrop to Tal Al-Hawa Hospital in northern Gaza. Between October and November 2023, the RAF also delivered aid and humanitarian supplies to Egypt for distribution by the Egyptian Red Crescent and UNRWA.

The UK is also focused on ensuring more aid can enter Gaza by land, working closely with Jordan who have been instrumental in facilitating the UK’s humanitarian response. Last week, more than 2,000 tonnes of food aid was distributed by the World Food Programme on the ground. This adds to the 150 tonnes of UK-funded relief items, including blankets and tents, which arrived earlier this month, distributed by UNICEF. Alongside the latest deliveries of aid, the UK has announced a further £10 million in aid funding for the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), bringing the total spend to over £100 million this financial year. This funding will support UN agencies on the ground to deliver lifesaving aid and will also provide core relief items, such as tents, for the most vulnerable.

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