03.08.2006 - Press release
Lebanon: Humanitarian Aid Continues
Switzerland’s Humanitarian Aid (HA) is continuing its effort to provide aid to people in need in the Middle East. The first camp for 360 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), which was set up in cooperation with HA’s team in Beirut, will be handed over to the Lebanese government on Friday. HA’s team is also due to deliver aid supplies to the villages in the Chouf mountains – a region that is unable to cope with providing aid to thousands of IDPs.
After a temporary truce in the south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, Israel has extended its ground battles and has now reached the city of Baalbek in the north of the country. According to the United Nations more than 900,000 people have been forced to leave their homes so far. The majority of the population in the south of Lebanon is still cut off from supplies and aid, and are unable to flee. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) hospitals in the affected areas are encountering serious electricity problems due to the shortage of fuel. Prices of basic products have risen sharply all over the country.
Switzerland’s Humanitarian Aid is intensifying its effort to help people in need, and its first IDP camp is now operational. The camp, which was set up in cooperation with HA’s team in Beirut, is due to be handed over to the Lebanese government on Friday. It is due to provide shelter for 360 homeless people. Possible sites for setting up more such camps have already been identified.
Aid supplies, such as mattresses, blankets and sanitary products are due to be delivered to the Chouf mountains this Saturday. More than 10,000 people, who have fled to the region, will benefit from this delivery. More than half of them stay with families; some of them live in organised shelters, such as schools. The supplies will be purchased on the local market. The goods are due to be transported in small pick-up trucks as big lorries are often targeted by Israeli troops. HA is planning to deliver aid supplies to the region twice a day with immediate effect.
There are currently one dozen experts of Switzerland’s Humanitarian Aid in Lebanon. In order to best provide aid, geographically as well as demographically, HA has already intensified its cooperation with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
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