Emergency humanitarian aid for the population of Lebanon affected by the conflict


Location of operation: LEBANON

Amount of Decision: EUR 10,000,000

Decision reference number: ECHO/LBN/BUD/2006/01000

Explanatory Memorandum

1 - Rationale, needs and target population.

1.1. - Rationale:

The Government of Israel launched a military attack on Lebanon after Hezbollah killed three soldiers and captured two others in a cross-border raid on the 12 of July 2006. Since then, armed hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah are continuing. The civilian population is once again paying the price for the conflict and the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. Hundreds of people have been killed and more than 1,500 injured. Furthermore, an estimated 700,000 - 800,000 people have fled their homes to escape violence.

The continued Israel Defence Forces (IDF) attacks have resulted in the damage and destruction of significant civilian infrastructure (road networks, bridges, fuel depots, power plants, ports, airports) which have left a considerable number of people stranded in the South of the country. The country is virtually isolated with access being denied by land, sea and air. Whilst health, sanitation, food, water and other basic needs of the population are increasing, the Lebanese Government and the relief agencies are facing huge humanitarian access obstacles.

Diplomatic efforts to push for a ceasefire are ongoing. However, at this stage neither the duration nor the intensity of the hostilities can be predicted. Thus, the international community continues to call on both parties involved in the conflict to at least comply with the rules of International Humanitarian Law, namely the Geneva Conventions.

On 24 July 2006, the European Commission (EC) has already adopted a first emergency Decision of EUR 10,000,000 to address the most urgent humanitarian needs of the populations affected by the conflict in Lebanon and refugees having fled to neighbouring countries. However, after two weeks of war, the coping mechanisms of the population of Lebanon are rapidly depleting. Skyrocketing prices and fuel shortages are signals of a standstill economic life. Especially the estimated 700,000 - 800,000 internally displaced people are in dire need of access to safe shelter, food, water and medical care. Accordingly, the United Nations (UN) have launched a Flash Appeal on 24 July 2006, appealing for US$ 150,000,000 to meet the needs of approximately 800,000 people over the next three months. Funds will enable the UN agencies and their implementing partners to carry out programmes to provide assistance and protection for the civilians caught in the Lebanese conflict. With this second emergency Decision, the EC will provide further funds to respond to the growing needs including against the UN appeal published on 24 July. This will help to address the urgent humanitarian needs of displaced and war-affected populations of Lebanon.