23 August 2006

Humanitarian Factsheet on Lebanon

NEW YORK, 22 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following has been prepared by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

-- 1,183 dead and 4,055 wounded (Lebanese 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)).

-- 97 per cent of those displaced by the conflict have now returned to their homes (Lebanon Ministry of the Interior).

-- Three people have been killed and 52 injured by incidents related to unexploded ordnance since 14 August 2006 (HRC).

-- Overall damage to civil infrastructure, including water pipe system, sewage system, and power plants, most severe in regions of Tyre, Marjayoun, Nabatiye, Bint Jbeil, West Bekaa, Baalbek and Akkar (World Health Organization (WHO)).

Humanitarian Activities

Four overland humanitarian convoys dispatched today:

-- Beirut to Tyre -- 5 World Food Programme (WFP) and 1 WHO truck carrying wheat flour, lentils and medical supplies.

-- Beirut to Nabatiye -- 13 WFP trucks carrying wheat flour, lentils and vegetable oil.

-- Beirut to Marjayoun -- 5 United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) trucks carrying water.

-- Beirut to Aarida -- 3 WFP pallets and 1 for the non-governmental organization (NGO) Swedish Rescue Services Aid (SRSA).

-- WFP-chartered Anamcara is to depart Beirut for Tyre tonight, carrying a mechanical workshop for SRSA and food and equipment for WFP.

-- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) met yesterday with mayors of Bint Jbeil and Tyre districts to sign contracts with UNDP to clear rubble, open streets, fill potholes and carry out repair work on buildings in 21 villages.  Between $5,000 and $25,000 per village will be allocated to these projects, depending on extent of damage.

-- Although the majority of displaced have returned to their homes, thousands remain displaced and many who have returned have found their homes uninhabitable.  UNHCR is pre-positioning supplies in Tyre and Saida to prepare for extensive assistance needs in coming months.

-- Syria's Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MoSAL) reports that all displaced centres under its control how now closed.  MoSAL's focus is now on assisting displaced Lebanese to return home.

Lebanon Flash Appeal

-- To date, just under $89.2 million committed to the $165 million Flash Appeal for Lebanon -- 54 per cent of requirements.  Additional $6 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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