A British Royal Navy vessel was on Monday reportedly en route to the Eastern Mediterranean, tasked with supporting the maritime humanitarian corridor being set up to carry critical aid from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip.

Over the weekend, the UK Foreign Office 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.”

Details of the ship’s name and route have not been disclosed for security reasons.

The British government has said 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.

UK 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.”

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

According to the British government’s press release on Saturday, the UK “is doing everything possible to get more aid into Gaza by land, air and sea. In recent weeks, the Royal Air Force has conducted five airdrops along the coastline of Gaza, safely delivering over 40 tonnes of food supplies, including water, flour and baby formula.”

The statement went on to say that Britain is supporting the Jordanian humanitarian land corridor from Amman into Gaza and that “in partnership with the World Food Programme, the UK’s largest delivery of aid crossed the border on March 13 which saw more than 2,000 tonnes of food aid being distributed on the ground to families in need. Land deliveries will now be scaled up with the opening of the Erez crossing, which the UK wants to see reopened permanently.”

It noted that “British military teams have been embedded with planning teams in the US operational HQ in Tampa as well as in Cyprus for several weeks to jointly develop the safest and most effective maritime route.”

The development also comes days after seven aid workers of the US-based charity World Central Kitchen were killed in an Israeli drone strike in northern Gaza.

In early January, after weeks of back and forth in the eastern Med, a British Navy vessel (the RFA Lyme Bay) docked in Egypt where it unloaded 87 tonnes of aid for Gaza comprising 10,000 thermal blankets, approximately 5,000 shelter packs, as well as medical supplies.

On December 7, 2023 UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps flew to Cyprus and Israel, seeking “accelerated aid deliveries” into the territory.