OCHA: 1,020 Lebanese dead; 3,508 injured; 960,000 displaced

Lebanese rescue workers search through the rubble for survivors after an Israeli air strike in the Shiyah district in south Beirut in which 31 persons were killed, 8 August 2006. (MaanImages/Raoul Kramer)


The following information appears in the report entitled: “Lebanon response OCHA situation report No. 17:
  • Key Developments

    UNRWA/WHO Warehouse Damaged

    The UNRWA warehouse in Beirut, currently being used by WHO to store medical supplies, was seriously damaged this morning when a container of leaflets dropped by an IDF aircraft landed on the building. WHO staff in the building at the time of the incident were not injured.

    Humanitarian Aid Gets Through to South Lebanon

    While concurrence was sought for a number of convoys today, only one UN convoy of 11 trucks carrying water, food, hygiene kits and other essentials received concurrence to travel to Saida.

    UXO Poses Severe Threat in the South

    The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) have raised concerns regarding the increasing danger of large numbers of unexploded ordinance (UXOs) in South Lebanon as a result of the ongoing conflict and the affect this is having on humanitarian operations and civilian movement, in particular, the prospect of returns.

    Situation Overview

    1. The Government of Lebanese’s (GoL) Government Higher Relief Committee (HRC) have reported that 1,020 people, 192 deaths more than at the same time last week, have been killed and 3,508 injured in the conflict to date.

    2. Information on the general displaced population from the HRC essentially remains static (960,000 displaced overall with some 700,000 still located in Lebanon). In the South, local authorities have estimated that 130,000 remain, including residents and IDPs in the Tyre area; 40,000 Palestinians in the Tyre refugee camp; and another 25,000 people along the border/Blue Line.

    3. Heavy fighting has continued over the last 24 hours in the South, the Bekaa valley and elsewhere. Though the IDF has stated that humanitarian convoys operating with concurrence will not be affected, an IDF-curfew imposed on areas south of the Litani River, has had a direct affect on the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

    4. UNIFIL and the UN Area Coordinator in Tyre have continued to lobby the IDF for road access and repairs to the provisional bridge over the Litani River.

    5. An IDF strike near to the Ein el-Hilweh Palestinian Refugee Camp today has left two dead and 10 injured. The Ein el-Hilweh camp is the largest of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon providing shelter to approximately 45,700 people. UNRWA is concerned that the no vehicle ban south of the Litani River established by the IDF will cause increasing hardship for the people in these camps given the dramatic affect on their humanitarian pipeline.

    6. Early Warning and Disease Surveillance Systems (EWARS) have been approved by Governments and health NGOs in Lebanon and Syria. WHO says the system will be implemented simultaneously in both countries and will be utilized to provide early warning against the possibility of the outbreak of disease.

    7. The Tyre Humanitarian Coordination Hub, based in the UNMACC (UN Mine Action Coordination Centre) compound, is continuing to provide maps, security and UXO safety briefings to incoming humanitarian staff. The Lebanese Red Crescent (LRC), ICRC, Premier Urgence, MSF, MDM, Samidoun and UNIFIL are operational in the area.

    8. A European Commission three-person team of oil spill experts arrived in Beirut today. The team will provide technical support the Ministry of Environment, facilitate the arrival and use of clean-up equipment from Norway, as well as conduct training to assist local staff with the cleanup. Continuing security concerns may hamper planned assessments of the coast.

    Humanitarian Response

    Logistics


    Health/Nutrition

    9. The Health Cluster now includes more than 50 partners including national and international NGOs. Key concerns include urgent hospital needs for fuel, oxygen and staff, as well as hygiene and sanitation.

    10. MSF reports that up to 30% of consultations in their outpatient and mobile clinics in Beirut, Tyre and others are mental health related.

    11. An immunization drive started today in Beirut schools and parks to protect nearly 65,000 IDP children against measles, polio and other diseases. The MoH, supported by UNICEF, WHO and NGO partners, aim to expand the campaign in the coming weeks.

    12. Syria: Measles vaccines are due to arrive in Damascus tomorrow and will be held at the MoH cold storage facility until a cold chain can be established from Damascus to Beirut (possibly on Saturday 12 August).

    Food

    13. UNRWA delivered food supplies to the Talabaya camp yesterday, while additional deliveries of food and NFIs were dispatched to the Eil-Hilweh camp in Saida.

    Shelter/Non Food Items

    14. A UNHCR humanitarian relief convoy, including over 62mt of urgently needed blankets, mattresses, kitchen sets and tents, arrived in Beirut on 8 August. This was the first convoy to arrive in Beirut since the primary humanitarian access route from Aarida on the Syria-Lebanon border was bombed last Thursday. While another UNHCR convoy carrying NFI is expected in the capital tomorrow, UNHCR continues to warn of dwindling NFI stocks in Beirut.

    Water and Sanitation (WES)

    15. The WES Cluster is reporting problems in the South with communities that have essentially been cutoff from humanitarian assistance as a result of ongoing hostilities. Access to water in some areas is becoming increasingly difficult, especially for those areas that rely on pumps for wells (increasingly scarce fuel supplies are having an adverse affect on communities ability to run generators to pump water from wells.)

    16. UNICEF is urging communities to prioritize bottled water for the most vulnerable i.e. children and hospital patients. Water purification tablets and hygiene kits have also been provided and more are in the pipeline. No outbreaks of waterborne disease have yet been reported.

    17. Oxfam is distributing water, food, hygiene, and sanitation kits to 30 school IDP sites in Beirut, Saida and Byblos (Jbail).

    Recovery

    18. UNDP reports continuing efforts to support the HRC. Also ongoing work towards the establishment of a Recovery Cluster, and Recovery networks within Government line ministries.

    Funding

    Flash Appeal

    19. OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS) today reports that over US $81.42 million has now been committed against the US $154 million Flash Appeal for Lebanon launched in July with US $27.8 million in pledges.

    20. OCHA met with representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) today to request their assistance in providing support for the ongoing humanitarian activities in Lebanon.

    21. Millions of dollars worth of in-kind support has been provided in response to the crisis in Lebanon. OCHA reports donations of medical supplies, blankets, logistical support, air bridges, food and others from over 20 Governments. These include Algeria, China, Latvia, Portugal and South Africa. Full details can be found on the FTS on http://www.reliefweb.int/fts.

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