4 September 2006

Humanitarian Factsheet on Lebanon

NEW YORK, 1 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following has been prepared by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

Mine Action

-- The United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC) reports that 405 individual cluster bomb strike locations have been identified.  It is estimated that the total number of strikes locations may ultimately be as many as 500.

-- Thirteen people have been killed and 48 injured by unexploded ordnance since the cessation of hostilities (UNMACC).

-- Five additional explosive ordnance disposal teams arrived in south Lebanon on 30 August to supplement the five explosive ordnance teams already at work.  Additional demining teams are expected to arrive in south Lebanon in the coming days.

Restoration of Electricity

-- The Government of Lebanon electricity authority, Electricité du Liban (ETL), has 14 teams across Lebanon working to repair damage to the electrical system.  The main sub-stations in south Lebanon were not damaged during the conflict.  Repairs of the main power lines and switches are expected to be completed in the next week.

-- Across south Lebanon, the ETL estimates that 150 transformers will need to be replaced at a total cost of approximately $900,000.

-- The next step is to repair distribution of electrical power within towns where extensive damage of electrical transformers has occurred.  Until repairs are made, up to 90 per cent of people in the towns will remain without electricity.

-- Currently only five to 10 suitable transformers are available within Lebanon.  Producing locally manufactured transformers will take at least five months.

-- There is also significant concern among electricity workers about a high concentration of unexploded ordnance that has been cleared from roads and now lies beside the roadway and under the route of the power lines.

-- Lack of electricity will have a significant impact upon the restoration of essential and municipal services and limit south Lebanon's ability to restore economic activity.  Many people who have returned to south Lebanon will be discouraged from staying and may seek opportunities to re-establish their lives in other parts of Lebanon or in other countries.

-- The restoration of sufficient water supplies depends upon electricity to power pumps that supplement the community's water supply.

Humanitarian Activities

Aid Convoy Movements, Shipments

-- Two World Food Programme (WFP) trucks from Beirut to Markab and Ayta El Chaab and Bent Jbeil with UNICEF water.

-- Municipal workers working with WFP in Beirut's southern suburbs handed out packets of WFP vegetable oil, lentils, canned vegetables and high-energy biscuits in Haret Hreik on 31 August.  The rations were in addition to distributions earlier this week in Haret Hreik.

-- The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees engineers are continuing with the assessments of damaged houses in the area around Tyre and have also started with the assessment of shelter in the areas of Nabatiyeh and Saida.

-- The World Health Organization reports that there is no need for additional medicine to be supplied by donors as the supplies in Lebanon are now sufficient.

Humanitarian Funding

-- The revised Flash Appeal for Lebanon was presented at the Stockholm Donor Conference yesterday.

-- Against the revised requirements of $96.5 million, some $87.9 million has been committed, with an additional $12.5 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 .

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