Press Releases

    IHA/1212
    9 August 2006

    Humanitarian Factsheet on Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian Territory

    NEW YORK, 8 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following has been prepared by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to reflect the situation as of 8 August:

    Lebanon

    Humanitarian Priorities

    --The United Nations priority concern remains the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities and, regular and secure access for humanitarian workers and supplies to those affected by the conflict.

    --According to the Lebanese Higher Relief Council, 987 Lebanese have been killed and 3 408 wounded in the conflict to date.

    --The Government of Israel reports that 39 Israeli civilians have been killed.

    --Approximately 915 000 people have been displaced in Lebanon:  700 000 of them within Lebanon.  The rest have sought shelter in Syria and other countries.

    Access

    --Due to yesterday's bombing of the provisional bridge across the Litani River, Tyre is effectively cut-off from northern Lebanon.  The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon is looking into repairing the bridge and seeking concurrence from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

    --Access from Beirut to northern Lebanon has also been severely constrained by the destruction of the Aarida-Beirut coastal highway; alternative routes do not support heavy trucks.

    --An eleven-truck convoy arrived from Syria today carrying humanitarian supplies from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

    --No convoys were dispatched to southern Lebanon today.

    --An Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs environmental assessment mission to assess the oil spill, which has now spread to the coast of Syria, has also been postponed.

    Operational Activities/Concerns

    --The World Health Organization warns that, if fuel is not delivered this week, 60 per cent of all hospitals in Lebanon, as well as other health facilities, will cease to function.

    --The two commercial tankers carrying 87,000 metric tons of fuel continue to wait outside of Lebanese waters.  The United Nations is looking into alternate means of off-loading the fuel they are carrying.

    --Food distributions are underway in Beirut:  WFP has distributed more than 300 metric tons of food to nearly 91 000 people in Lebanon and Syria since 23 July.

    --The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has distributed hygiene and kitchen kits, as well as other non-food items to 45 internally displaced persons centres in Jbeil and Kisirwan, which serve more than 20 000 internally displaced persons.

    --The United Nations Population Fund has dispatched hygiene kits to the Lebanese Red Cross in Zahle, which will benefit approximately 7 000 internally displaced persons.

    Lebanon Flash Appeal

    --To date, just over $52 million has been committed to the $154 million flash appeal for Lebanon, or 34 per cent of requirements; an additional $24.5 million in pledges have also been recorded.

    Occupied Palestinian Territory

    Humanitarian Priorities

    --The United Nations warns of "a sharp decline" in the humanitarian situation confronting 1.4 million Gazans as 'Operation Summer Rains' enters its sixth week.

    --Since 28 June, when Operation Summer Rains (the IDF code name of the military operation), 184 Palestinians, including 42 children, have been killed; 650 Palestinians injured.

    --During the same period, 25 Israelis have been injured, including 11 by homemade rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

    --Up to 3 400 Palestinians have sought shelter in United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East installations, as a result the IDF operation.

    --The UNDP initial estimates total $15.5 million in damages to Gaza's infrastructure from IDF incursions, artillery shelling and air strikes, excluding the damage caused to the Gaza power plant.

    Operational Activities/Concerns

    --The capacity of the Beit Lahia waste water treatment plant (northern Gaza Strip) has reached a critical point and sewage ponds threaten to flood nearby populated areas.

    --The food security situation in Gaza remains critical with more than 70 per cent of the population unable to cover their daily food needs without assistance.

    Occupied Palestinian Territory Appeal

    --To date, just under $133 million has been committed against the $383 million appeal for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, or 35 per cent of requirements; an additional $16 million in pledges have also been recorded.

    For further information, please call:  Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Kristen Knutson, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 9262; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570.  OCHA press releases are available at http://ochaonline.un.org or www.reliefweb.int.

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