Lebanon: The Commission grants another €30 million for victims of the fighting
Brussels, 20 October 2006 - The European Commission has granted a further €30 million in humanitarian aid for victims of the fighting in Lebanon. The aid will help people returning to their home regions to rebuild their lives. The latest grant means that the European Commission has now granted €50 million in humanitarian aid to deal with the aftermath of the fighting in Lebanon. The funds are being channelled through the Commission's Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), which reports to Commissioner Louis Michel.
This €30 million grant will smooth the transition to the country's rebuilding stage by helping relaunch economic activity for people hit by the conflict and giving them the means to improve their living conditions. Six priority areas have been identified for action:
Water and sanitation: families' access to drinking water will be restored, especially by rehabilitating water towers and distributing household water tanks.
Shelter: people returning to their home regions will be provided with shelters, and lightly damaged homes with access to running water and electricity will be repaired. Social amenities, including hospitals and schools, will be rehabilitated.
Food and household goods: the neediest families will receive food aid and household goods (hygiene kits, kitchen equipment, mattresses, etc.).
Activities generating income: people in hardship, who have no income and face serious poverty, will receive aid to help them resume an economic activity.
Healthcare and psycho-social counselling: Medical care and equipment will be provided, especially for the most vulnerable, including people injured in the fighting, disabled people and people with chronic illnesses. Psycho-social counselling will also be offered where identified as necessary.
Mine clearance: Mine-awareness schemes will be carried out so that people can return to their home region and resume their activities safely. Where necessary, mines will be cleared in high-risk areas.
The grant will also fund broader coordination of aid activities, including close coordination with the Lebanese authorities.
Relief activities will be implemented by ECHO's operational partners on the ground, including NGOs, UN agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement.
The ECHO office, which was set up at the premises of the Beirut delegation when the fighting broke out, will be responsible for assessing needs, coordinating projects and monitoring relief operations.
This emergency rehabilitation stage is expected to last until the summer. It will gradually give way to a rebuilding stage, which will be the responsibility of other departments of the European Commission.