Lebanon Humanitarian Emergency: USG Humanitarian Situation Report #8 (FY) 2007

Report
from US Agency for International Development
Published on 01 Dec 2006
Note: The last situation report was dated November 17, 2006.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

On November 21, the USG Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) traveled to Marjayoun and Hasbeya districts to monitor the progress and impact of school rehabilitation and winterization projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).

USAID/OFDA partner Mines Advisory Group (MAG) reported that unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance teams in southern Lebanon suffered three casualties in two separate incidents between November 24 and 25. Three international staff suffered severe injuries but are in stable condition. MAG temporarily suspended UXO clearance activities during an initial investigation into the incidents, but resumed operations as of November 27.

From November 18 to 30, USAID/OFDA provided more than $7.8 million in funding for program activities in Lebanon, including $600,000 to the World Rehabilitation Fund (WRF) for mine risk education and victims' assistance activities; more than $4.8 million to Mercy Corps for winterization activities; $500,000 to ACDI/VOCA to reduce vulnerability and increase livelihoods security for the most conflict-affected herder populations in the Bekaa Valley; and more than $1.9 million to Habitat for Humanity for transitional shelter assistance in southern Lebanon.

NUMBERS AT A GLANCE - LEBANON
SOURCE
Dead
1,191
Government of lebanon (GOL) - December 1, 2006
Injured
4,409
GOL - December 1, 2006
Total Displaced Population
200,000
GOL - December 1, 2006
Estimated Returns to Date
774,184
GOL -December 1, 2006


Total USG Humanitarian Assistance Committed to Lebanon: $108,330,943
Total USG Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance Pledged to Lebanon: $230,000,000

CURRENT SITUATION

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 the remaining 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees are staying with host families. According to HRC, the conflict killed 1,191 Lebanese and injured approximately 4,409 others.

USG DART Update

On November 21, the DART visited a school in Marjayoun District rehabilitated by USAID/OFDA partner International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). During the conflict, the school hosted approximately 500 internally displaced families and sustained damage both from nearby bombardments and from use as a temporary shelter. IOCC repaired damaged walls, renovated sanitation facilities, installed new windows, and painted the interior and exterior of the building. On October 25, the school opened on schedule to begin the school year. With USAID/OFDA support, IOCC has rehabilitated 23 public schools in Hasbeya and Marjayoun districts-benefiting more than 2,500 students-since the end of the conflict.

In Hasbeya District, the DART monitored an IOCC distribution of winterization supplies to vulnerable households. Families targeted included female-headed households and families with disabilities. IOCC distributed hygiene kits, cooking supplies, and either a stove or a heater, depending on the preference of the family. With USAID/OFDA support, IOCC will carry out three distribution rounds targeting more than 4,000 of the most vulnerable families in 64 villages in Hasbeya, Marjayoun, Bent Jbail, and Tyre (Sur) districts.

Water and Sanitation

With USAID/OFDA support, humanitarian aid organizations have distributed nearly 10,000 household water tanks to families throughout Lebanon since the end of the conflict and plan to distribute an additional 3,650 water tanks in the coming weeks. In addition, aid agencies are delivering nearly 50 generators to public facilities and repairing or replacing key components of almost 60 community water systems. USAID/OFDA partners are also providing cash grants of up to $10,000 to villages for small-scale repair projects prioritized by the community. While these water and sanitation activities have proven effective during the emergency and early recovery periods, large-scale physical infrastructure and capacity building initiatives remain necessary to address the longer-term water needs in the country.

The DART reported that the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) has ceased all water tankering operations, following a rapid needs assessment in southern Lebanon. According to UNICEF, aid agencies continue to truck water to isolated villages in Nabatiye District.

Food Security and Agriculture

On November 27, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released the final findings from a damage and early recovery needs assessment of the agriculture, fisheries, and forestry sectors. According to the report, much of this year's agricultural harvest perished on the ground, as the conflict forced farmers to abandon their lands. In addition, the presence of UXO has left many agricultural fields and pastures inaccessible to farmers. FAO estimates $280 million in total agricultural-related damage and losses due to the conflict, including $232 million in total financial damage to the crop production sector, $22 million to the livestock sector, $9.7 million to the fisheries sector, and $16 million to the forestry sector.

FAO has identified priority initiatives for implementation within the next 6 to 12 months to address the critical situation of vulnerable farming communities in southern Lebanon, including the establishment of an early recovery coordination unit. USAID/OFDA has provided nearly $200,000 in funding to FAO for the establishment of this unit; FAO is seeking approximately $17 million in additional funding for other priority initiatives.

USG Partner Update

From November 10 to 17, USAID/OFDA partner Mercy Corps distributed 7,550 blankets to families in 14 villages in northern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. The blankets were distributed at a critical time, due to the onset of winter conditions in Lebanon. With USAID/OFDA support, Mercy Corps will provide a total of 47,500 blankets to vulnerable families throughout the country.

From November 1 to 15, USAID/OFDA partner American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) distributed 84 cash grants to small farmers to restart economic and agricultural activities. ANERA is providing small grants of up to $2,000 to farmers, fisher communities, and small business owners who suffered physical damages to property and financial losses during the conflict. With USAID/OFDA support, ANERA programs will reach more than 45,000 people in South Lebanon.

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