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Humanitarian Crisis in the Middle East Appeal No. MDR81001 Operations Update No. 7

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The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 185 countries.

In Brief

Operations Update no. 7; Period covered: 21 July to 30 April 2007. Completion of the emergency relief phase of the operation.

Revised Appeal target: CHF 5,037,019 (USD 4,075,135 or EUR 3,190,770).

Appeal history:

- Preliminary emergency appeal launched on 21 July 2006 for CHF 1,329,000 (USD 1,000,000 or EUR 846,000) for three months to assist 50,000 beneficiaries.

- The appeal and budget were revised on 11 August 2006 (budget increased to CHF 5,036,998) for three months to assist 65,000 beneficiaries.

- The Appeal was extended to 31 March 2007 to allow implementation of planned activities and finalize the reports.

- This Operations Update extends the operational period until 31 December 2007. This will allow the remaining funds pledged to this appeal to be fully used to strengthen the capacity of the National Societies involved in this operation to respond to future emergency situations.

Summary:

Almost one million people were forced to abandon their homes in South Lebanon, the Bekaa valley and Beirut's southern suburbs during the conflict between 12 July and 14 August 2006. An estimated 180,000 people sought shelter in Syria and many foreign nationals caught up in the hostilities were evacuated to Cyprus, Syria, Egypt and other countries.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provided overall leadership for the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement response to this crisis. Movement actors had different roles and responsibilities; the role of the International Federation was to support National Societies in the affected countries in their efforts to effectively deliver assistance to the most vulnerable people. The Middle East regional office in Amman, Jordan coordinated International Federation support in the region.

The emergency phase of the Middle East Humanitarian Crises operation was over in September 2006. The host National Societies (Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, Egypt and others) responded quickly to the immediate humanitarian needs of thousands of displaced people. Pre-positioned preparedness stocks, together with other internally available resources were used and in-kind supplies, mainly from neighbouring National Societies, were quickly delivered.

Generous cash donations were also made and the appeal coverage reached the level of 102 percent (1). This allowed the emergency requirements of the affected population in Lebanon and neighbouring countries to be met as well as enhancing the preparedness and response capacity of the National Societies directly involved.

During the months after the emergency phase, the host National Societies and the International Federation focused on continually supporting certain vulnerable groups who still required humanitarian assistance, re-imbursement ofthe cost of food and non-food items (purchased by the host National Societies from their own reserves during the first weeks of the crisis), replenishment of stocks of relief items and capacity building in the areas of disaster preparedness and contingency planning to ensure improved response to future emergencies. In Lebanon particularly, focus has been on improving logistics, coordination and planning capacity.

The operation has been behind schedule in terms of finalizing planned activities. This is related to contextual constraints which have throughout the operation continued to affect procurement procedures for capital items. The majority of the emergency and post-acute phase activities were completed by the end of April 2007.

By the end of this period, the International Federation was still in possession of a substantial balance of funds, which, in the face of the new realities in the region is proposed to be used for badly required improvement of the operating National Societies management and service delivery infrastructure. The latter may include rehabilitation activities to enhance response capacity of the Lebanese Red Cross. Therefore, following consultations with the donors to this Emergency Appeal, the International Federation is extending the operational period until 31 December 2007.

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity."

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

- In Amman (for Syria & Jordan): Ahmed Gizo, Head of Middle East Regional Office, Phone +962 65694911, Mobile: +962 79 5158204, Fax: +962 6 56 94 556 email:, Ahmedadam.Gizo@ifrc.org

- In Tunis (for Egypt): Anne Leclerc, Head of North Africa Regional Office, phone: +216 71 86 24 85, fax: +216 71 86 29 71, email: ae.leclerc@ifrc.org

- In Lebanon: Anne-Katherine Moore Karlsen, Head of Delegation, mobile: +961 3 448700, phone: +961 1349944, Fax: +961 1 34 99 33, e-mail: ak.moorekarlsen@ifrc.org

- In Geneva: Evgeni Parfenov, Regional Officer, MENA Department, phone: +41227304325, mobile: +41 79 3333733, email : evgeni.parfenov@ifrc.org

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

Note

(1) This appeal coverage figure includes all pledges received for this appeal. Details can be found in the contributions list.