14 August 2006

Humanitarian Factsheet on Lebanon

NEW YORK, 11 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following has been prepared by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

Humanitarian Impact

-- According to the Lebanese Higher Relief Council, 1,056 Lebanese have been killed and 3,600 wounded.

-- The Government of Israel reports that 41 Israeli civilians have been killed.

-- The Lebanese Higher Relief Council also reports the following preliminary damage figures:  7,000 private houses/apartments, 900 commercial facilities, 630 roads, 73 bridges, 72 overpasses and 23 fuel stations have been damaged by Israel Defense Forces' bombardments, as well as 29 airports, ports, water and sewage treatment facilities and electricity plants.

-- Preliminary damage to Lebanese infrastructure is estimated to exceed $2 billion, including:  $386 million in damages to transportation infrastructure, $180 million to electricity plants and transmission facilities, $85 million to telecommunications infrastructure and $70 million to water infrastructure.

-- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) reports that, of approximately 40,000 Palestinian refugees in southern Lebanon, perhaps half have fled to northern Lebanon or Syria.


-- Concurrence has been granted for all humanitarian convoy requests made this morning:  Beirut to Nabatiye, Beirut to Saida (Sidon) and Beirut to Baalbek.  A road assessment is also to be sent from Beirut to Nabatiye and Baalbek.

-- An update on the convoy that has been trying to depart for Nabatiye will be provided in today's OCHA situation report.  The convoy is comprised of eight trucks carrying food and equipment for the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

-- However, there continues to be no movement on United Nations requests regarding access to and beyond the Litani River; no repairs can be carried out to bridges or roads.

-- the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) reports that a humanitarian convoy to distribute food to villages in the western sector of southern Lebanon, as well as other humanitarian activities, have not proceeded in the last five days, as the Israel Defense Forces has denied concurrence.

-- There has been no improvement in the fuel situation in Lebanon.

-- There is an increasing threat of unexploded ordnance and cluster bombs in southern Lebanon, as well as in the rest of the country.

Humanitarian Activities

-- The United Nations airlift began yesterday, with the first Jordanian Air Force flight from Amman landing in Beirut, carrying 9,000 blankets, 192 mattresses and medicines for the World Health Organization (WHO).  A second flight, carrying 2,244 mattresses and 45 metric tons of plastic rolls, jerry can, plastic sheeting and kitchen sets, is to be flown into Cyprus from the United Nations humanitarian hub in Copenhagen.

-- WHO is receiving numerous requests for fuel from at least 24 private hospitals per day, and is looking in transporting a 10-day supply for fuel for those hospitals in most urgent need.

Lebanon Flash Appeal

-- To date, just over $76.7 million has been committed to the $154 million flash appeal for Lebanon, or 46 per cent of requirements; an additional $12.5 million in pledges have also been recorded.

United Nations Agency Statements

-- Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the massive displacement of populations and the destruction of civilian infrastructure in Lebanon require intervention by the United Nations Human Rights Council, to impress upon the parties to the conflict the need to comply with their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.

-- Ann Veneman, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), has called for a cessation of hostilities in Lebanon to allow humanitarian agencies to deliver needed supplies.  Thousands of children have been killed and injured by the conflict.  Countless others are living in extremely precarious conditions, which worsen daily.

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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