The second phase of humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people under Ops Ihsan, which was sent via a special cargo plane at about 11 pm yesterday, arrived safely at the El-Arish Airport in Egypt at 8.20 am local time (2.20 pm Malaysian time).
Ops Ihsan Secretariat chairman Jismi Johari, who is also Malaysian Humanitarian Aid and Relief (MAHAR) president, said the plane that departed from the Cargo Terminal at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), carried 20 tonnes of donated items from Malaysians.
“The latest delivery means that a total of 40 tonnes of donated items from Malaysians have arrived in Egypt to be distributed to the Palestinians.
“The 40 tonnes of aid is part of a total 50 tonnes of items worth RM7 million that were donated through Ops Ihsan, including essential items such as medical supplies, food, baby essentials and blankets,” he told Bernama when contacted via WhatsApp.
He said the aid would be handed over to the Egyptian Red Crescent Society (RCS) as the sole implementing agency to channel aid to Gaza through the Rafah border crossing.
According to him, the first shipment of aid on Nov 3, also amounting to 20 tonnes, was reported to have passed the Rafah border and entered Gaza based on the statistical report of aid entering Gaza from the logistics cluster of the United Nations (UN) and the Egyptian Red Crescent Society.
“InsyaAllah, based on feedback from Egypt’s RCS, the goods through the second shipment will reach the people of Gaza in less than a week,” he said.
Jismi said the remaining 10 tonnes of aid and an additional 14 tonnes of items expected to be collected from the ongoing campaign, would be sent soon using container ships as the goods involved were not suitable for flight.
He said this included generators, batteries, portable solar lights and tents.
“Alhamdulillah, Ops Ihsan continues to receive commitments from various parties, ministries, organisations and companies. We welcome any organisations interested in contributing the cost of shipping the goods, especially through sea travel,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jismi said the Ops Ihsan Secretariat was currently in the final stages of the second campaign for the collection of medical supplies and essential items for the winter.
Ops Ihsan which is coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is led by MAHAR together with over 50 other NGOs including Global Peace Mission (GPM) Malaysia, Red A Humanitarian Development Global, Mercy Malaysia, Pertubuhan Ihsan Johor, BeVital and Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations (MAPIM).
Jismi said Ops Ihsan’s next plan was to open a Malaysian Humanitarian Hub (MHH) in Egypt which would act as a one-stop centre to manage the distribution of humanitarian aid from Malaysia, especially from NGOs, more effectively and cost-effectively.
He said MHH would also oversee the purchase of basic food items such as flour, olive oil, tomato paste and drinking water while waiting for the shipment of humanitarian goods from Malaysia via container to Port Said, Egypt.
“MHH will also discuss with the Egyptian authorities on assisting their Health Centre in providing medical services to the people of Gaza in addition to providing assistance to first responders,” he said, adding that the public could follow the latest developments as well as the distribution of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza by visiting the ‘Ops Ihsan’ Facebook page.