25 August 2006

Humanitarian Factsheet on Lebanon

NEW YORK, 24 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following has been prepared by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

-- 1,183 dead and 4,059 wounded (Lebanese Higher Relief Council (HRC)).

-- More than 250,000 Lebanese remain displaced (HRC).  An estimated 5,000 are in the area of Chouf and 1,300 in Aley (UNHCR); while 952 Lebanese continue to shelter in UNRWA camps and 2,500 remain in Syria (UNHCR).

-- According to UNHCR, the majority of those who remain displaced in Syria, Chouf and Aley do not intend to return to their homes as they have been completely destroyed.

Humanitarian Activities

Five Overland Humanitarian Convoys Today:

-- Beirut to Haret Hreik (southern Beirut) -- three World Food Programme (WFP) trucks with vegetable oil, high-energy biscuits and canned vegetables.

-- Beirut to Qana (via Tyre) -- five WFP trucks with wheat flour, canned meat, high-energy biscuits and canned vegetables.

-- Beirut to Maarake (via Tyre) -- 10 WFP trucks with wheat flour, canned meat, high-energy biscuits and canned vegetables.

-- Beirut to Rmeish (via Tyre) -- six United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) trucks with water and five WFP trucks with wheat flour, canned meat, high-energy biscuits and canned vegetables.

-- Tyre to Sidiqine - seven UNHCR trucks left Tyre this morning with 2,500 blankets, 1,060 plastic sheets, 200 tents and other relief items, which will be distributed today in Sidiqine and the surrounding area.

-- Commercial trucks carrying tents, blankets, mattresses, plastic sheets, kitchen sets, lamps, cooking stoves, jerry cans and other relief items left the UNHCR warehouse in Beirut today for Ghanduryah.

-- The Government of Lebanon-chartered Aphrodite, carrying 50,000 metric tons of fuel, is expected to arrive at Tripoli today, while the Psara, also carrying 50,000 metric tons of fuel is expected at Zahrani.

-- UNICEF is procuring a 1,250 KVA generator for the South Water Authority, as part of efforts to restore centralized water distribution capacity; UNICEF is currently dispatching 50,000 litres of bottled water per day to southern Lebanon; from next week, deliveries will rise to 100,000 litres per day.

-- WFP has distributed 2,975 metric tons of food to 530,000 people as of 22 August, including 381,000 people within Lebanon and 149,000 returning from Syria:  in the nine days since the cessation of hostilities, 1,379 metric tons of food have been dispatched, as opposed to only 1,450 metric tons during the 20 days of conflict from 25 July to 13 August.

-- UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Education ahead of the start of the school year on 9 October; 350,000 Lebanese schoolchildren will receive school bags containing notebooks, pencils and other materials.

-- Preliminary assessments show that up to 50 schools in southern Lebanon were completely destroyed and 300 suffered major damage; UNICEF is also supporting rehabilitation of over 150 schools in Beirut and other areas, where the displaced were housed during the conflict.

Mine Action

-- The United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC) reports that 249 individual cluster bomb strike locations have now been confirmed and recorded.  The earlier estimated of 200-plus total strikes has now been revised upwards to 300-plus.  No cluster bomb strikes are located above a line running 5 kilometres north of the Litani River.

-- 13 new mine clearance teams are expected to arrive in Lebanon by the end of the week.

Lebanon Flash Appeal

-- To date, just over $94 million has been committed to the $165 million Flash Appeal for Lebanon -- 57 per cent of requirements.  Additional $7 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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