Lebanon

Lebanon: Appeal 2006-2007 No. MAALB001 Report 2006-2007

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This report covers the period of 01/01/2006 to 31/12/2006 of a two-year planning and appeal process.

In a world of global challenges, continued poverty, inequity, and increasing vulnerability to disasters and disease, the International Federation with its global network, works to accomplish its Global Agenda, partnering with local community and civil society to prevent and alleviate human suffering from disasters, diseases and public health emergencies.

In brief

Programme Summary:

For the first time since 1975, a new Executive Committee was elected. Some 75 per cent of the members are new, including a representation from youth and volunteers - something not seen in recent years. All the members of the governance bodies received governance and management training based on the International Federation standard syllabus.

As a result of the elections, the Lebanese Red Cross revitalized the two key departments of Planning and Volunteers by electing a head for each. The National Society's leadership requested the International Federation to support the development of these two departments and in addition to strengthen its support for the Internal Affairs department in the process of reviewing the National Society legal base.

Over 1,100 people were killed and around one million became internally displaced as a direct result of the hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel in July and August 2006. The psychological support programme (PSP), supported by the International Federation over the last three years, helped children affected by conflict and counselled and debriefed Lebanese Red Cross volunteers, who were on various front lines during the conflict.

Goal: The Lebanese Red Cross is able to utilize and further strengthen its governance, whilst developing relevant and focused activities aligned with its strategic directions.

Needs: Total 2006-2007 budget CHF 1,582,343 (USD 1,310,805 or EUR 966,490), out of which 35 per cent is covered).

No. of people we help: The Organizational Development (OD) programme has been a priority for the Lebanese Red Cross and thus for the International Federation. The beneficiaries are mainly governance, volunteers and staff of the Lebanese Red Cross.

Current context

Two extreme polar developments dominated the Lebanese context in 2006, and are still having an effect to date. During the first six months of the year, a national dialogue between the different political parties to define a common agreement on disarming militias and securing the borders with Syria was initiated. These efforts were destabilised in the second half of the year when the country entered once again into a volatile political, economical and social situation, to a large extent brought to the forefront by the 34 day conflict between Hezbollah and Israel in the summer. The conflict resulted in the death of 1,187 people and displacement of around one million people as well as severely damaging the country's fragile infrastructure.

This was followed by an increased division between the Lebanese Government and the opposition coalition. By the end of 2006, the institutional bodies of the Republic were no longer functioning with the President maintaining all Government decisions as unconstitutional and the Speaker of the Parliament refusing to open Parliament for sessions. As a result, the country remains paralysed with not even an approved budget for state expenditure.

In order to respond to the conflict and this ongoing instability, the newly elected board of the Lebanese Red Cross, through an emergency meeting, defined its priorities to respond to the needs of the conflict affected population. With the support of the Federation and the ICRC, the Lebanese Red Cross established a Movement coordination centre and activated its network of over 5,000 trained volunteers on 24 hour alert. Lebanese Red Cross priorities shifted from organisational development towards ensuring their capacity in curative health (Emergency Medical Services (EMS), clinics and dispensaries and blood banks) and disaster response (evacuation, relief distribution and shelter management) in the immediate conflict and post-conflict period. Currently, activities are once again focusing on strategy, planning and prioritisation processes while increased emergency preparedness is maintained. In line with this, the Federation increased and has maintained its capacity to ensure adequate support to the Lebanese Red Cross in particular in the programme areas of psychological support, logistics, organizational development and coordination.

Cooperation between the main Movement partners has been positive, with the ICRC as the lead agency for the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement during the conflict. A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was in the process of being developed to define the post-conflict coordination roles and responsibilities.

For further information please contact:

Sheikh Sami Dahdah, Lebanese Red Cross, President; email: redcross@dm.net.lb; Telephone: +961 1 37 28 02; Fax: +961 1 37 82 07

Anne-Katherine Moore Karlsen, Head of Delegation in Beirut; email: ak.moorekarlsen@ifrc.org; Telephone: +961 1 34 99 44; Fax +961 1 34 99 33

Evgeni Parfenov, Regional Officer, MENA Department, Federation Secretariat; email: evgeni.parfenov@ifrc.org; Telephone: + 41 22 730 4325; Fax: + 41 22 733 0395

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