Jerusalem (CNN) — A desperately needed shipment of food aid destined for Gaza departed from Cyprus on Saturday, weeks after humanitarian efforts in the besieged enclave were severely disrupted following a deadly Israeli airstrike which killed seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers.

The deaths of the aid workers, six of them foreign, caused an international uproar against Israel, which took responsibility for the deaths. The incident also caused at least three aid providers to pause operations in Gaza, among them WCK, which had been central to the new, heavily touted sea corridor from Cyprus.

The United Arab Emirates has now partnered with an aid agency to send crucial assistance to Gaza via the Israeli port of Ashdod. A UAE official told CNN Saturday that the vessel laden with critical food aid left on Saturday through a relationship with American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA).

The ship, called “Jennifer,” departed Larnaca Port in Cyprus at 9 a.m. local (2 a.m. ET) and will take around 25 to 30 hours to arrive at Israel’s Ashdod port, according to ANERA’s emergency response team lead in the West Bank, Mohenad Itayim.

Itayim told CNN the 400 tons of aid would undergo Israeli security clearance upon arrival. From there, it will be loaded onto trucks that will then go south to the Kerem Shalom border crossing before entering Gaza.

The UAE official said that in partnership with ANERA, the nation “aims to provide life-saving aid to the people of Gaza” and that the first window of opportunity for the trucks to depart from Kerem Shalom would likely be Wednesday morning.

ANERA prefers to use the Erez crossing into Gaza, but it is not ready to receive trucks for aid, Itayim told CNN, adding that the aid agency is hopeful it will open in a week to 10 days.

Once the aid enters Gaza, Itayim said its teams on the ground, who are “supported by members of the community and vetted by ANERA,” will physically distribute the aid, adding that the organization is coordinating with the Israeli Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

The plan is for most of the food aid to be delivered to northern Gaza, but Itayim said that depending on the security situation, ANERA might consider sending a shipment to the south as well.

“At present, the UAE has delivered more than 31,000 tons of urgent supplies, including food, relief and medical items, dispatched through 249 flights, 38 airdrops, 1,160 trucks, and three ships,” the UAE official told CNN, adding that it continues to explore “all avenues” to maximize the delivery of aid to the strip.

News of the ship’s departure came hours after Britain’s Royal Navy announced that its support ship “RFA Cardigan Bay” had set sail from Cyprus to support international efforts to build a temporary pier off the coast of Gaza.

The United States has already begun construction of the pier, intended to help deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The UK ship will provide “accommodation for hundreds of US sailors and soldiers working to establish the pier,” according to a statement from the Royal Navy.

“It is critical we establish more routes for vital humanitarian aid to reach the people of Gaza,” UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said, adding that the British ship’s crew are “central to the UK’s contribution to the multinational plan to greatly expand the flow of aid into Gaza.”

The statement went on to say that British forces have been working with American teams in the US, as well as Cyprus to “jointly develop the safest and most effective maritime route.”

A senior US military official confirmed Thursday that “we are on track to begin delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza from the sea in early May.”

In Gaza, aid has slowly trickled in, but aid agencies say it’s nowhere near enough to provide adequate relief for destitute Palestinians.

“People need food assistance every day and we’re able to take in trucks every day but not enough,” Matthew Hollingworth from the World Food Programme previously said.

All 2.2 million people in Gaza do not have enough food to eat, with half of the population on the brink of starvation and famine projected to arrive in the north “anytime between mid-March and May,” according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).

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