800,000 Lebanese civilians displaced by Israel's aggression
Lebanon-Israel-UN, Politics, 7/26/2006
Israel is pressing ahead with taking extra toll from Lebanese civilians enjoying blessings of the US and Britain while a UN convoy of ten trucks carrying food, medicines, sanitation and hygiene supplies, left Beirut this morning heading to the southern port city of Tyre.
A UN Information Center (UNIC) said that while some humanitarian supplies have already been distributed by the UN to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in accessible areas in Lebanon, this is the first UN convoy to the south in what is hoped to become a regular dispatching of humanitarian supplies along safe humanitarian corridors inside Lebanon to the people most affected by the ongoing military hostilities and the Israeli bombardment that disrupted the transport network and destroyed much of the infrastructure in the south.
Thousands of internally displaced persons are still on the move in south Lebanon while many other thousands are besieged in their communities and unable to flee.
The humanitarian initiative is an effort by the United Nations to support the Lebanese government to reach the affected communities with essential supplies. The convoy includes 90 metric tons of wheat flour procured locally.
Other essential items were provided by the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is helping the Tyre municipality to receive the supplies and coordinate the distribution.
WFP is managing all the logistics aspects of the humanitarian operations in Lebanon.
WHO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, sent five emergency medical kits. Each kit is sufficient for the basic medical needs of 10,000 individuals for a period of three months. The kits include first aide essentials, supplies for small surgeries, child medication and other necessary medical items.
UNICEF supplies include thousands of baby diapers, sanitary napkins, family water kits, water purification tablets, and soap to meet the immediate needs of displaced children and women. UNICEF is focusing on covering the hygiene and sanitation needs of the displaced persons, which has become a top priority because of the over-crowded conditions in the locations where the displaced have taken refuge.
The ongoing conflict has affected up to 800,000 people in Lebanon, and severely damaged the infrastructure and led to a severe shortage of essential goods and services. The UN is particularly concerned about the very critically low level of fuel in Lebanon. Fuel imports in energy-dependent Lebanon have stopped since the conflict erupted on July 12.
Reports coming in from Beirut said that Israeli air raids hit columns of civilians escaping from indiscriminate bombardment of Lebanon.
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