Lebanon + 1 more

First World Vision relief reaches displaced Palestinians

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By Brian Jonson, Communications Manager, World Vision Lebanon

World Vision Lebanon distributed more than 500 baby hygiene kits Sunday morning to Palestinian refugees forced to flee a week of fighting in their home camp of Naher el-Bared, near Tripoli in north Lebanon.

According to UN figures, approximately 25,000 people have fled fighting between the Lebanese Army and members of the militant group Fatah al-Islam, which began last Sunday after police officers tried to arrest suspects in a bank robbery.

"How long will this go on? We can't live like this - I have a newborn and three small children," said Maysaz Moughamis, one of the mothers who received a hygiene kit from World Vision. "I need this aid, but all I want to do is go back home."

The UN says between 10,000 and 15,000 of the internally displaced refugees have moved to the nearby el-Baddawi Palestinian refugee camp where they have crammed into overcrowded and rundown schools or share cramped quarters with friends and family.

The baby hygiene kits are part of the first phase of a response that will aim to reach 2,000 displaced families in el-Baddawi - including 4,000 boys and girls - with urgently needed hygiene items and to provide activities for children. The baby hygiene kits World Vision is distributing include diapers, baby cream, anti-bacterial wipes and water sterilization tablets.

"These families who have been displaced were forced to flee their homes with little more than the clothes on their back to another, already overcrowded, refugee camp" said Tony Matar, relief manger for the response. "These families urgently need hygiene kits to protect their babies from disease and psycho-social programs to help their children deal with the impact of being displaced."