On September 21, the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) provided nearly $1.2 million to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) for the clearance and marking of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and mines in UXO-affected areas of southern Lebanon.
According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) and OCHA have outlined a plan for the transition from humanitarian assistance to early recovery. From September 18 to 28, UNDP will assume OCHA coordination responsibilities and increasingly participate in the Tyre cluster and country team meetings. On September 29, UNDP will assume the lead for coordination, with OCHA continuing to advise as necessary until October 24. On September 22, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator departed Lebanon, and OCHA's presence will be scaled down accordingly until remaining OCHA staff depart on October 24.
|NUMBERS AT A GLANCE - LEBANON||
|Government of Lebanon (GOL) - September 22, 2006|
|GOL - September 22, 2006|
|Total Displaced Population||
|GOL - September 22, 2006|
|Estimated Returns to Date||
|GOL - September 22, 2006|
Total USG Humanitarian Assistance Committed to Lebanon: $70,945,951
Total USG Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance Pledged to Lebanon: $230,000,000
The GOL's Higher Relief Council (HRC) reports that 774,184 displaced persons have returned to their home areas since August 14. At the height of the emergency, HRC estimated that nearly 975,000 Lebanese fled their homes. Most of remaining 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees are staying with host families. According to HRC, 1,191 Lebanese were killed and approximately 4,405 injured during the conflict.
According to OCHA, the presence of UXO in Qaaqaait ej Jisr, Nabatiye District, has resulted in an estimated $2 million loss for farmers, due to the inability to access olive groves during the harvest. In Maifadoun, Nabatiye District, the school yard is reportedly cleared of UXO; however, the surrounding area remains heavily contaminated.
Assessments and Remaining Needs
The USG Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) reported that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has conducted comprehensive assessments of more than 150 villages in southern Lebanon over the past six weeks, with approximately 50 remaining villages to be completed by the end of September. During the assessments, ICRC is providing monthly family food rations, and kitchen and hygiene kits, if needed, as well as interviewing community members regarding protection issues and conduct during the conflict.
On September 18, an OCHA team visited the villages of Aarab el Louaize and Ain Aarab Marjayoun in Marjayoun District. According to OCHA, residents of the two villages now have electricity and regular access to water. However, in Aarab el Louaize, restoration of agricultural livelihoods and removal of UXO remain concerns.
In Bent Jbail, relief agencies expect large numbers of residents to return due to the beginning of Ramadan and the school year. Municipal officials have requested the assistance of the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) to install a water tank and water treatment plant.
From September 14 to 18, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provided emergency supplies, including blankets, mattresses, cooking stoves, and sanitary supplies to the villages of Boustane, Oum Toute, Chihine, Jebbain, Siddiqine, and Majdal Zoun in Tyre District and Aita Ech Chaab in Bent Jbail District, according OCHA. In addition, UNICEF will provide 4,000 infant hygiene kits to Bent Jbail hospital.
UNHCR visited Froun and Ghandouriye in Bent Jbail District and Meiss ej Jabal, Houla, and Blida in Marjayoun District, according to OCHA. In Ghandouriye, UNHCR visited families with special needs and noted that some of these children have no access to school because of a lack of chairs. In Froun, UNHCR reported that women have requested sewing machines.
On September 18, during a meeting with OCHA, the deputy mayor of Nabatiye expressed concern regarding 1,000 to 2,000 IDPs currently living in the city. According to OCHA, although the IDPs reportedly have money for accommodation, they are residing away from their normal place of work and are not able to find alternative employment. In addition, the children may not be able to purchase needed materials to begin school.
On July 25, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman declared a humanitarian emergency in Lebanon due to ongoing insecurity and humanitarian needs. U.S. President George W. Bush has authorized $230 million in USG humanitarian and reconstruction assistance for persons affected by conflict in Lebanon.
On July 23, the DART, led by USAID, arrived in the region to prioritize USG assistance. During the height of the emergency, a Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Team supported the DART.
To date, USAID/OFDA has provided 3,000 tarps, 40,000 blankets, and 18 emergency health kits in support of relief operations in Lebanon. The DART has consigned these relief supplies to the ICRC, WHO, International Medical Corps (IMC), and Mercy Corps for delivery to nearly 300,000 beneficiaries in Beirut and southern Lebanon. Total USG-donated commodities are valued at more than $590,000, including transport.
USAID/OFDA has provided $7 million to support the U.N. Flash Appeal for Lebanon to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) and the U.N. Joint Logistics Center (UNJLC) for logistics and coordination, UNICEF for water and sanitation activities, OCHA and OCHA's Humanitarian Information Center (HIC) for coordination and information management. The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM) has provided $7.5 million to the U.N. Flash Appeal to UNHCR and the U.N. Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) for protection, shelter, and emergency relief supplies, to the U.N. Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), and to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for transportation of third-country nationals. State/PRM has also contributed more than $13.5 million to ICRC's emergency appeal for protection, food, health, and water and sanitation activities.
USAID/OFDA has contributed more than $32 million to American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), CHF International, International Medical Corps (IMC), International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), Mercy Corps, MAG, and World Vision for distribution of food and relief supplies, food security and agriculture, health services, infrastructure rehabilitation, livelihood recovery activities, nutrition, protection, psychosocial support, demining and UXO clearance, transitional shelter activities, and/or water and sanitation services. USAID/OFDA has also provided nearly $26,000 to Church World Service (CWS) for security training for relief nongovernmental organizations.
The USG has provided nearly $10 million in wheat flour, wheat, and lentil commodities. USAID's Office of Food for Peace is providing 1,000 MT of P.L. 480 Title II emergency food assistance to support WFP operations. Through the Food for Progress program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided 25,000 MT of wheat to the GOL.
The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Political and Military Affairs, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement will provide $420,000 in FY 2006 and up to $2 million in FY 2007 to MAG for demining activities in Lebanon, subject to Congressional approval.
In addition to evacuating nearly 15,000 American citizens, the U.S. Military has been integral in providing transport to Beirut for both the DART and USAID emergency relief supplies.
(pdf* format - 62 KB)