28 August 2006

Humanitarian Factsheet on Lebanon

NEW YORK, 25 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following has been prepared by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

-- 1,187 dead and 4,060 wounded (Lebanese Higher Relief Council (HRC)).

-- Estimated 30,000 homes damaged or destroyed, one quarter of them in southern suburbs of Beirut.

-- Estimated $3.6 billion worth of physical damage, including 145 bridges and overpasses destroyed or damaged, 600 kilometres of roads, 900 factories, markets, farms and other commercial buildings, 29 airports, ports, water- and sewage-treatment plants, dams and electrical plants and 23 fuel stations.

Humanitarian Activities

Overland Humanitarian Convoys Today:

-- Beirut to Faouqa (via Nabatiye) -- nine World Food Programme (WFP) trucks with wheat flour, canned meat, vegetable oil, high-energy biscuits, lentils, pasta and canned vegetables.

-- Beirut to Qabrikha and Meiss El-Jabal (via Tyre) -- four WFP trucks to Qabrikha and eight WFP trucks to Meiss El-Jabal with wheat flour, high-energy biscuits, canned meat and canned vegetables.

-- Beirut to Tyre, Hanine, and Beit Leif -- two United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) trucks to Tyre, two to Hanine and one to Beit Leif carrying a total of 60,000 litres of drinking water.

-- WFP has provided 3,235 metric tons of food to 582,000 Lebanese since 23 July:  431,000 people within Lebanon and 151,000 returnees.  In the 11 days since the cessation of hostilities, WFP has dispatched 1,740 metric tons of food compared to 1,495 metric tons in the 20 days from 25 July to 14 August.

-- Most of those assisted have received a two-week ration of wheat flour or bread, canned meat, high-energy biscuits and vegetable oil.  Rations will continue to be provided as needed (WFP).

-- The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has provided baby kits to non-governmental organizations for distribution in Beirut's southern suburbs and southern Lebanon.  UNFPA is also providing hygiene kits to non-governmental organization for distributions in Marjayoun, Srifa, Aita El Chaab and Tibnin.

-- Preliminary results of the World Health Organization (WHO) health facility assessment show that 50 to 70 per cent of primary health facilities in Bint Jbeil and Marjayoun have been completely destroyed.

-- Additional field assessments in the Bekaa Valley report extensive damage in Baalbek, mainly in the city and surrounding villages of Britel and Nabi Chit.  In total, 14 population centres suffered extensive destruction.  Over 4,000 people have been left homeless, and more than 1,850 families remain without water.

Mine Action

-- 12 people have been killed and 51 wounded by unexploded ordnance and cluster bombs since 14 August (Lebanese Army's National Demining Office).

-- Unexploded ordnance and other ammunitions are now the biggest threat to civilian life in Lebanon.  The United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC) reports an increase in the number of incidents related to unexploded ordnance and other ammunitions following the return of civilians to the south.

-- UNMACC has located 288 individual cluster bomb strike locations throughout southern Lebanon.

Oil Spill

-- Government estimates for the clean-up of the oil spill at the power plant outside Beirut are up to $64 million.

-- The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Post-Conflict Branch, together with the UNEP-Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Joint Environment Unit, is preparing to conduct an assessment for mid-September, at the request of the Ministry of Environment.

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:  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 .

* *** *