Home World Celebrity chef’s NGO coordinates humanitarian effort in Gaza after Israeli strike

Celebrity chef’s NGO coordinates humanitarian effort in Gaza after Israeli strike

Celebrity chef’s NGO coordinates humanitarian effort in Gaza after Israeli strike


Celebrity chef Jose Andres’ disdain for crimson tape is likely one of the causes his meals charity discovered itself coordinating the humanitarian effort in Gaza when seven of its workers were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

The help staff for World Central Kitchen had been killed when their convoy was hit shortly after they oversaw the unloading of 100 tons of meals delivered to Gaza by sea.

WCK started final month moving meals help to ravenous individuals in northern Gaza by way of a maritime hall from Cyprus, in collaboration with Spanish charity Open Arms.

It acted after Israel refused to let the U.N. Palestinian refugee company (UNRWA) ship meals to northern Gaza based mostly on claims some company workers had taken half in the Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel by Palestinian Hamas fighters.

Oscar Camps, director of Open Arms, mentioned in an interview with Reuters that the maritime route between Cyprus and Gaza had been open since Dec. 20 however no organisation had used it.

They constructed a makeshift jetty from rubble and unloaded the help simply metres away from bombardments amid warnings from Israel that it couldn’t assure their safety, he mentioned.

Andres, who’s Spanish and American, mentioned on the social media platform X he determined to get entangled in the maritime help supply after an invite from the Cypriot authorities, hoping different help suppliers would comply with swimsuit.

He mentioned on March 26 that 67 WCK kitchens had been working in Gaza, feeding 350,000 individuals a day. Operations at the moment are suspended following the Israeli airstrike on the WCK convoy.

Earlier in the battle, WCK had partnered with eating places and hospitals in Israel to feed individuals displaced or injured by the Oct. 7 Hamas assault, after which switched in February to serving to airdrops of help to Palestinians in Gaza.

Andres mentioned on Tuesday he was heartbroken and grieving for the households and pals of the seven WCK staff killed in the Israeli airstrike. They included residents of Australia, Britain and Poland in addition to Palestinians and a twin citizen of the United States and Canada.

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Andres to specific his condolences. Biden additionally advised Andres he would clarify to Israel that help staff should be protected, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre advised a briefing.


Founded by Andres in 2010 after he travelled to Haiti to assist following an earthquake that killed greater than 300,000 individuals, WCK has quick change into one of many main suppliers of emergency help at scenes of pure catastrophe or human battle.

The NGO describes itself as “first to the frontlines”, utilizing an “entrepreneurial and adaptive” method to “err on the side of feeding people expediently vs. asking for permission or following systems and bureaucracy that lack urgency and flexibility”.

“When others are assessing the situation we are already feeding, and in the process we learn what is going on, not the other way around,” Andres advised the Spanish-language version of Vanity Fair in a current interview.

The charity says it entered Ukraine 5 days after Russia’s invasion in February 2022 and arrange eating places in 5 cities.

Born in 1969 in a coal mining city in Spain’s northern Asturias area, Andres labored as an apprentice at Ferran Adria’s experimental El Bulli restaurant close to Barcelona earlier than transferring in 1991 to the U.S., the place he arrange tapas restaurant Jaleo.

His firm ThinkFoodGroup now owns greater than 20 eating places together with one with two Michelin stars.

He has cultivated relationships with among the U.S’s strongest individuals, receiving a $100 million donation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2021 and putting up a rapport with former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Obama’s authorities in 2014 named him an “Outstanding American by Choice”, an award given to naturalized U.S. residents who’ve achieved extraordinary issues, following up with the National Humanities Medal in 2015.

His relationship with Obama’s White House successor Donald Trump was much less cordial.

The Spaniard canceled plans for a restaurant in Trump’s Washington resort over feedback the then-presidential candidate made about Mexicans, calling them “rapists” and “murderers”. Trump sued Andres for breach of contract, and the 2 reached a settlement in 2017.

Published On:

Apr 3, 2024


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