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The Biden administration has made an agreement with a major UN agency to distribute aid from the pier that the US military is constructing off the coast of Gaza. The World Food Programme will handle the distribution of aid once the pier is completed early next month. Diplomatic efforts have been ongoing to finalize plans for the distribution of the much-needed humanitarian aid in Gaza.

The logistics of the aid distribution have been complex, given that no US troops will be on the ground in Gaza. The US military is constructing a causeway to connect the pier to the Gaza shoreline, where aid will be trucked in from Cyprus. Concerns have been raised about partnering with the Israel Defense Forces for security in the aid distribution zone, but efforts are being made to ensure that humanitarian principles are upheld.

Meanwhile, a private American company called Fogbow, run by former military and intelligence officials, is also setting up a maritime aid operation separate from the US military-led efforts. Fogbow plans to move aid using a Palestinian-American construction company owned by Bashar al Masri. Questions have arisen about competing aid drop zones and distribution networks and the balance of power in the aid distribution process.

The US has emphasized that the pier and maritime aid operations are meant to complement the existing land routes into Gaza, not replace them. The focus remains on providing humanitarian aid and increasing access for supplies. Fogbow is funded through the Maritime Humanitarian Aid Foundation and is willing to use the US military pier or establish its own beach landing site for aid delivery.

The US military intends to operate the pier for at least the next three months, with eventual plans to turn it into a commercial operation for broader use. Questions remain about future access to the pier and ensuring that it does not become a chokepoint for aid and commercial imports controlled by the IDF. The goal is to maintain a balance between multiple aid distribution options to ensure efficient and effective delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

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