Press Releases

    IHA/1213
    10 August 2006

    Humanitarian Factsheet on Lebanon

    NEW YORK, 9 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following has been prepared by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

    Humanitarian Priorities

    -- The need for access to those affected by the conflict, particularly in southern Lebanon, remains the overriding United Nations priority.  United Nations relief in southern Lebanon remains frozen, despite Israel Defense Forces (IDF) assurances that humanitarian convoys would be excluded from yesterday's warnings that vehicles travelling south of the Litani River would be attacked.

    -- According to the Lebanese Higher Relief Council, 1,020 Lebanese have been killed and 3,508 wounded.

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

    Displacement

    -- Of the 700,000 people displaced within Lebanon, 500,000 are sheltering in and around Beirut, moving from one part of the city to another as the bombing continues.

    -- Internally displaced persons are also located north of Beirut in Byblos, Kseeoun and Metn Region.  Newly displaced people continue to arrive north of the Litani, although the flow seems to be lessening.

    -- Overall, 915,000 people have been displaced in Lebanon; more than 200,000 have fled the country, with the Government of Syria reporting that some 180,000 Lebanese are sheltering in that country.

    Access

    -- Of the five convoys scheduled to leave and/or arrive in Beirut this morning, four received concurrence:  Taalabaya-Beirut; Beirut-Tripoli; Beirut-Aarida; and Beirut-Saida (Sidon).

    -- The only convoy travelling south from Beirut was bound for a location (Saida/Sidon) north of the Litani River.

    -- The Royal Jordanian Air Force is now operating three flights daily into Beirut.

    -- A humanitarian coordination hub has been established in Tyre at the United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre; however, Tyre remains cut off from the rest of the country.

    -- The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) reports that, at present, there are 20,000 Lebanese trapped in Tyre, as well as an additional 100,000 civilians throughout southern Lebanon.

    -- UNIFIL and the United Nations Area Coordinator continue to lobby for, but have not yet received, concurrence to repair the temporary bridge over the Litani River and the access roads on either side.  The temporary bridge erected earlier by UNIFIL was destroyed on Monday.

    Fuel Shortage

    -- There has been no improvement in the fuel situation in Lebanon:  the two tankers carrying 87,000 metric tonnes of fuel remain off the Lebanon coast and a World Health Organization (WHO) fuel convoy to Saida (Sidon) did not receive IDF concurrence yesterday.  However, the United Nations now reports that one of the tankers may enter Lebanese waters, while the other will off-load to smaller boats.  Another two tankers, currently about 10 days away, have been requested to transport their fuel to Lebanon.

    -- A World Food Programme (WFP) ship carrying a limited cargo of fuel is scheduled to arrive in Beirut in the next few days; half of its cargo will be used by the Government of Lebanon for essential service.

    -- As WHO warned yesterday, the fuel shortage is now having a direct impact on humanitarian operations.  At least three hospitals in southern Lebanon have reportedly closed due to fuel shortages.

    Humanitarian Activities

    -- The World Food Programme (WFP) dispatched more than 380 metric tons of food to communities of internally displaced persons in Beirut yesterday, while more than 150 metric tons of food were distributed in Saida (Sidon).

    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.

    For further information, please call:  Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, tel.:  +1 917 367 5126, mobile:  +1 917 892 1679; Kristen Knutson, OCHA-New York, tel.:  +1 917 367 9262; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, tel.:  +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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