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Monday, August 14, 2006

Lebanon response OCHA situation report No. 21

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Date: 13 Aug 2006


Lebanon response OCHA situation report No. 21
KEY DEVELOPMENTS
Israel, Lebanan agree to cessation of hostilities; but fighting intensifies
The leaders of Lebanon and Israel have agreed that the cessation of hostilities and the end of the fighting will enter into force on 14 August at 0800 hours, Beirut time. Some of the heaviest fighting of the conflict took place today with attacks on Beirut and Tyre.
UNIFIL positions hit again
UNIFIL sustained extensive material damage but suffered no additional casualties as fighting worsened throughout Southern Lebanon during the past 24 hours. There were five incidents of firing by the IDF directly in side UNIFIL positions in the areas of At Tiri, Byt Yahun and Tibnin and one incident of firing from the Hezbollah side directly inside a UNIFIL in the area of Ghanduriyah. There were nine other incidents of IDF firing close to UN positions in the areas of At Tiri , Ghanduriyah (2), Brashit, Tibnin and Ibil as Saqi. UNIFIL strongly protested al incidents to the Israeli and Lebanese authorities respectively.
Immediate humanitarian action to follow cessation of hostilities

The Humanitarian Coordinator says UN and other agencies are poised to immediately step up emergency relief operations as soon as safe land movement is possible. Convoys are loaded with supplies, including 100 MT of fuel for besieged hospitals, and waiting to proceed to Tyre and other locations in South Lebanon, subject to successful repair of the roads.
In addition, one of the two WFP-chartered vessels which docked in Beirut today, should proceed to Tyre with emergency supplies for different humanitarian agencies.
Mine awareness campaign in full swing
The national steering committee on Mine Risk Education has developed messages to raise awareness of the risk of UXO. The messages are targeted primarily at IDPs who may start to consider returning home. The TV and radio messages will be distributed on 14 August to local TV and radio channels, Al Jazeerea and Al Arabiya. Poster messages will also be available for distribution shortly.

SITUATION OVERVIEW
1. The GoL Higher Relief Council casualty figures have risen, with 1,071 now killed (up from 1,056), and 3,628 injured in the conflict. More than 19 Lebanese civilians were reportedly killed in IDF air raids yesterday, including 15 in the village of Rachat. One Israeli civilian was reportedly killed in a Hezbollah rocket attack in western Galilee.
2. Humanitarian hubs in Tyre and Saida should become fully operational in the next 48 hours: locations have been assessed and coordination structures planned. These two hubs will be ‘integrated UN offices’, serving the broader humanitarian community. All activity is dependent on ability to move on the roads.
3. Cyprus is increasingly considered a suitable location for an alternative UN hub, as it is already providing sea and air access to Lebanon; is perceived as neutral; and has no UN security phase in place. The Government of Cyprus (GoC) has expressed desire to further facilitate operations, including customs assistance and giving humanitarian supplies tax-free status.
4. Sea and air routes are being strengthened from Cyprus, with daily plane and helicopter flights now being operated ex-Larnaca. Other airbridges are being considered for emergency evacuation and supplies requiring cold chains.
5. The Ein-el Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp was the target of an IDF air-strike last night. No casualties were reported, but some 2,000 IDPs sheltering close to the camp have already moved to more central districts of Saida. Both Tyre and Saida remain without electricity.
6. Lebanon’s Environment Minister warns of toxic fumes and contaminated seafood caused by the fires and oil spill from the Jiyyeh power plant. Minister Sarraf also estimated clean-up costs at some $150 million, which could take up to a year to complete.
7. The pace of UNICEF’s ongoing immunization campaign has slowed due to staffing limitations during the weekend. Field visits conducted by the UNICEF Health team revealed that a considerable number of IDP sites have not been covered by the immunization campaign yet; therefore additional days will be needed to reach the target (more than 95%), as well as for those children who were not immunized during the first round.
8. Syria: the humanitarian situation continues to be fluid with Lebanese displaced spread out across the country and also on the move. With assessments and updates ongoing, some 83,000 persons in need of varying degrees of assistance have been identified in 11 out of 14 Governorates. Around 50,000 are sheltered in public sites, with approximately 30,000 staying with host families. Humanitarians continue to focus on the most urgent needs.
HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE
Logistics
9. Concurrences were eventually granted for three convoys to travel to Saida today, with a total of 24 trucks carrying drinking water, food, hygiene kits, and other emergency supplies. Other vehicles for staff movement, road assessments, and ICT repairs were also allowed to proceed to Aarida, Tripoli and Jezzine.
10. Two WFP ships carrying food and fuel supplies have finally docked in Beirut. One ship is set to proceed on to Tyre on Tuesday 15 August once relief cargos are finalized.
Upcoming Logistics Movement (Land)
Date
Destination
Comments
14-Aug
Rmeish/Debel
4 trucks for UNICEF, 11 WFP (overnight in Saida)
Tyre
7 trucks for WFP, 1 for UNFPA /WHO, 1 for HEB/NPA (night in Saida)
Rmeish
Road assessment (overnight in Saida)
Tripoli/Aarida
Staff, cargo
Aarida
Road Assessment
Upcoming Logistics Movement (Sea)
Date
Destination
Comments
15-Aug
Tyre
Anamcara: cargo to be finalized 14 August
Health/Nutrition
11. Since the beginning of the crisis, the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) emergency medical services, supported by ICRC, has taken nearly 780 wounded people to hospital, evacuated some 5,400 civilians and removed more than 250 bodies from the rubble of destroyed buildings. LRC continues to deliver medical supplies to hospitals and ambulance stations.
Food
12. WFP-chartered ships brought in 2,750 MT of wheatflour, pasta and lentils to Beirut today. Part of this cargo is set to be trans-shipped to Tyre on 15 August.
13. Syria: WFP food distribution operations are on hold until implementation details are finalized with the Government of Syria. It is expected that they will resume early this week.
Water and Sanitation
14. Priorities for the coming week include technical solutions to improve sanitation facilities in all IDP school sites; and strategic coverage of IDP communities with hygiene promotion and awareness materials. UNICEF continues its water delivery programme in the Beirut area.
15. Syria: UNFPA is also calling for Information/Education/Communication (IEC) initiatives for hygiene-related issues among women and young people in displaced communities in Syria.
16. Syria: WES activities include maintenance and cleaning of the sewage network, latrines and water heating system at the Zabadani camp, serving some 1,750 people. Today UNICEF team was to assess sanitation at the Jdeidat-Yabouz border crossing, looking ahead to the expected return of Lebanese displaced.
FUNDING
Flash Appeal
17. As of 13 August, OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service reports that the Flash Appeal for Lebanon is 48% funded. Contributions of more than US $79 million have been committed and pledges worth US $10.2 million have been promised. The top five donors are: European Commission (US$ 13.8 million), United States (US$ 12.7 million), Norway (US$ 6.9 million ), France (US$ 5.1 million), CERF (US$ 5 million). No increase is reported since yesterday.
18. Syria: Contributions of around USD 26 million have been received for Flash Appeal regional projects - these include Syria response activities in the Coordination, Food, Water/Sanitation, Health, Shelter, and NFIs sectors.
Full details can be found on the FTS on http://www.reliefweb.int/fts.

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