Brussels, 25 May 2007. Following days of heavy fighting between the Islamic group Fatah al Islam and the Lebanese army in the North of Tripoli, the European Commission has decided to allocate €370.000 to provide humanitarian support for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Over 12,000 refugees have fled the Nahr el Bared camp in the last days. Most of them are currently hosted in another palestinian refugee camp known as Beddawi. Several public buildings have also been provided by the Lebanese authorities and the population, in an expression of solidarity. Around 15,000 refugees are still caught in the fighting at Nahr el Bared.
Olli Rehn, acting Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, said: "I am very concerned by the difficult situation of these populations, that are already affected by extremely difficult living conditions and now find themselves trapped in a conflict that does not concern them. Palestinian refugees must be respected and protected. I urge all parties to respect their obligations under International Humanitarian law, in particular, to facilitate the delivery of aid and the evacuation of innocent civilian persons."
The Commission closely monitors the situation through its humanitarian experts in the region.
This humanitarian funding will address the vital needs of about 30,000 Palestinian refugees with food, water, non-food items, medical assistance and psychological support.
Operational partners already active in the region (NGOs, United Nations agencies, Red Cross Movement), have already started to implement these humanitarian activities.