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Source:
20 March 2009
4. INTERACTION WITH COGAT

  • As agreed at the Logistics Cluster meeting 16 March, a representative of the WASH cluster attended the weekly COGAT meeting in Tel Aviv to raise key challenges facing the WASH cluster for implementation of their programmes in Gaza. The UNICEF representative made a presentation on the link between poor water quality and increased rates of water-borne diseases. The current lack of materials for infrastructure repairs is the main obstacle to improving water quality.

  • USAID reported that NGO shipments containing the following items were delivered to Gaza on 10 – 12 March: Cooking oil; tea; macaroni; hand washing detergent. These items have been rejected by COGAT in previous shipments. In response to the Logistics Cluster raising this apparent contradiction, COGAT stated that every request for shipment undergoes its own inspection.

  • The Logistics Cluster continued to request clearance from COGAT for transportation of UNICEF stationery items, Early childhood development kits and children’s toys; UK MAP medical equipment; FAO veterinary supplies; FAO fruit and olive trees; World Vision washing powder in hygiene kits.

  • During the weekly meeting on 18 March, COGAT informed the Logistics Cluster that the toys awaiting shipment by UNICEF are not yet approved because the paint may contain lead. UNICEF had specified to the supplier that the paint should not contain lead. COGAT has yet to inspect a sample of the cargo.

  • On 18 March COGAT also stated that they now have all necessary information on the MAP UK medical items and World Vision washing powder and will be able to respond on the status of clearance. These items have been ‘under review’ since 30 January 09 and 03 March 09, respectively.

  • The Logistics Cluster visit to Kerem Shalom border crossing, scheduled for 17 March, was cancelled after COGAT gave last minute notification that security clearance had not been granted. The visit is rescheduled for 24 March.



    PRIORITIES FOR IMPROVING DELIVERY OF HUMANITARIAN RELIEF TO GAZA

    The Humanitarian Coordinator has shared a list of priority humanitarian cargo with the Israeli Authorities, to ensure the delivery of humanitarian relief reflects the needs of the conflict-affected communities in Gaza.

    The Humanitarian Community requests that the Israeli Authorities permit the delivery of food assistance; medical supplies; education equipment and other priority humanitarian relief to Gaza. This request is in accordance with the principle of non-interference as stipulated in the Framework for the Provision of Humanitarian Assistance in Gaza and the obligation to ensure the free passage of consignments of foodstuffs (Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 59).

    A request has been made to COGAT to clearly define the policy-level process governing approval of relief items destined for Gaza (including so-called ‘dual purpose’ items). The objective is to increase predictability for clearance of cargo and ensure transparency of process.


    The Logistics Cluster requests the following measures are taken to increase capacity for transfer of humanitarian relief to Gaza:

    - Use of sea containers for the purpose of transportation of humanitarian cargo and permission for the exit/return of empty containers.

    - Double-stacking pallets on trucks passing through Kerem Shalom in order to save time and increase cargo capacity.

    - Installation of better lighting at the Kerem Shalom crossing (Gaza side) to allow operations to continue after dark, and thus increase the timeframe for cargo pickup.



    Gaza Logistics Cluster Contacts

    · Bekim Mahmuti, Head of Logistics Cluster
    (bekim.mahmuti@wfp.org), mobile +972 (0) 54 677 311

    · Bo Andren, Logistics Officer / Coordination with COGAT
    ( bo.andren@wfp.org), mobile:+972 (0)54 677 3159

    · Kirstie Farmer, Information Management
    (kirstie.farmer@wfp.org), mobile: + 972 (0) 54 677 3117

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