22 August 2006

Humanitarian Factsheet for Lebanon

NEW YORK, 21 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following has been prepared by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

-- 1,183 dead and 4,054 wounded (according to Lebanon's Higher Relief Council (HRC)).

-- Approximately 140,000 returnees from Syria (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Governor of Homs (Syria)).

Humanitarian Activities

Three Humanitarian Convoys Dispatched Today:

-- Beirut to Masnaa -- Six United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and 10 UNHCR trucks.

-- Beirut to Beiteddine -- Two World Food Programme (WFP) trucks.

-- Beirut to Majdil Silim -- Seven WFP trucks.

-- Total convoys to date:  52 humanitarian convoys have been dispatched since 26 July 2006 (WFP).

Tyre Humanitarian Hub:

-- Clean drinking water is priority concern -- 42 out of 70 villages have no water supply.  Most villages' water tanks and pipe networks have been destroyed or damaged.  No villages have electrical power to operate water pumps.

-- Also, immediate need for mattresses, blankets, kitchen sets, jerry cans, hygiene kits, soap, lanterns and baby formula in the heaviest damaged areas.

-- Municipal authorities have requested construction materials, indicating that one-room units to be built by the community with support from humanitarian agencies.

Saida (Sidon) Humanitarian Hub:

-- Entire region (except Marjayoun) heavily contaminated by unexploded ordnance; demining will take up to six months in the region of Nabatiye alone.

-- Needs include bottled water for 200,000, as well as water storage tanks; supplementary food rations for 150,000; and household items and tents for 20,000.

-- Electricity still being rationed, which is affecting water supply -- situation unlikely to improve in short-term.

-- 460,000 people fed by WFP to date (2,621 metric tons of food), including 335,000 people in Lebanon and 125,000 Lebanese returnees from Syria.

-- UNICEF provided essential drugs for 70,000 people and carried out a vaccination campaign against measles for 13,000 children and against polio for 9,000.

-- UNICEF also delivered water for 135,000 (35,000 in Beirut, Aley, Metn and Chouf and 100,000 in Rmeish, Hasbayya and Tyre), as well as water kits for 80,000 throughout the country.

-- United Nations has facilitated entry of 135,000 metric tons of fuel for the Government and aid agencies into Lebanon between 2 and 17 August.

-- United Nations agencies have worked with the Government on a public awareness campaign on the dangers posed by unexploded ordnance -- TV and radio spots aired; 100,000 leaflets and 10,000 posters distributed.

Lebanon Flash Appeal

-- To date, just under $88.9 million committed to the $165 million Flash Appeal for Lebanon -- 54 per cent of requirements.  Additional $6.4 million in pledges.

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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