A British Royal Navy vessel is on its way to the Eastern Mediterranean tasked with supporting the maritime humanitarian corridor being set up to carry critical aid from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip.

The Foreign Office has announced that the ship deployment is part of a wider package of military and civilian support for the initiative. This package also includes up to £9.7 million for aid deliveries, logistical expertise and equipment support to the corridor, such as forklift trucks and storage units.

Grant Shapps, the Defence Secretary, said that the ship was en-route to the region. Details of the ship’s name and route have not been disclosed for security reasons.

The UK Government has commented that the multinational maritime corridor initiative will see tens of thousands of tonnes of aid pre-screened in Cyprus and delivered directly to Gaza, via the new US temporary pier being constructed off the coast or via Ashdod Port, which Israel has now agreed to open.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said that “along with the US, Cyprus and other partners, we are setting up a new temporary pier off the coast of Gaza to get aid in as quickly and securely as possible.”

Lord Cameron has also repeatedly warned over the last few days that “the prospect of famine (in Gaza) is real.

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