Today, the United States airlifted more than 54,000 pounds of United Nations humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said at a Pentagon news conference.

The aid includes vitally needed medical supplies, warm clothing, food and nutrition assistance. At the request of U.S. Agency for International Development, the supplies were transported via Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft and arrived in Al-Arish, Egypt, where they will be transported via ground transportation to Gaza and distributed by U.N. agencies, Ryder said.

Additional flights are expected in the coming days, he added.

This aid is in addition to the more than 500,000 pounds of food assistance delivered by the United States last week by USAID-contracted aircraft to Al-Arish, for onward travel to Gaza, he said.

“With 1.7 million people internally displaced and 2.2 million in need of humanitarian assistance [in Gaza], increased humanitarian supplies are essential to saving lives and alleviating suffering for the most vulnerable,” according to a USAID news release.

The United States has mobilized $100 million in humanitarian assistance to help civilians affected by the conflict. The aid is meant to help thousands of people during a humanitarian pause in hostilities intended to further a surge of lifesaving assistance to Palestinian civilians, said a USAID statement.

The United States will continue to lead the humanitarian response in Gaza to further support those in desperate need. The United States is by far the largest donor to the U.N.’s humanitarian efforts in Gaza, according to USAID.

“We are grateful for the additional contributions from a number of donor partners who have already pledged significant funding, and we continue to advocate for others to do the same.

“The U.N.’s global appeal in response to the crisis remains woefully underfunded with only 21% funded, and we call on the international community to urgently step-up their support and deliver on commitments pledged,” said the USAID statement.

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