Ongoing fighting hampers humanitarian aid
Despite an announcement that military operations in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared in northern Lebanon had ended, fighting between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam has continued in the area known as the "old camp." The ongoing violence has hampered humanitarian operations carried out by the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the Lebanese Red Cross Society in cooperation with the ICRC.
"For the past few days, we have tried without success to negotiate the delivery of aid to Nahr el-Bared. Because of the proximity of the fighting to the camp's southern entrance - which the ICRC, the Lebanese Red Cross and the Palestine Red Crescent use every day - it is becoming harder and harder to bring supplies into the camp and evacuate the wounded and civilians," said Jordi Raich Curco, head of the ICRC's delegation in Lebanon. "However, we are continuing our discussions with the Lebanese army about the need to bring supplies to the civilians still trapped inside the camp."
Aid for Nahr el-Bared camp
The most recent delivery of aid to Nahr el-Bared, consisting of 760 kilograms of food, took place on 20 June. Water and food were also delivered on 19 June.
Despite the volatile security situation, the Palestine Red Crescent, the Lebanese Red Cross and the ICRC have been able to evacuate two wounded persons over the past three days. Since 3 June the organizations have evacuated 545 particularly vulnerable persons, including wounded people, pregnant women and more than 40 children and elderly people.
First Red Cross message delivered
The ICRC delivered a Red Cross message (brief message containing family news) written by a Palestinian arrested during the fighting in Nahr el-Bared to his relatives seeking refuge in Beddawi. This was the first such message the ICRC has succeeded in delivering since the events of last month. ICRC staff go to Beddawi camp regularly to monitor the conditions of refugees displaced from Nahr el-Bared and collect allegations of arrest.
Raising awareness of the dangers of unexploded ordnance
The ICRC is concerned about the risks posed by unexploded ordnance that refugees from Nahr el-Bared will face when they return to the camp. In an effort to raise awareness among the displaced population, the ICRC has launched a campaign in cooperation with the Lebanese Red Cross youth department and Palestine Red Crescent volunteers in Beddawi camp and in schools hosting Nahr el-Bared refugees in Tripoli. Leaflets have been distributed explaining the dangers of unexploded ordnance and how to avoid accidents.
ICRC cooperation with Movement partners
The ICRC is also cooperating with other partners from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, including the Qatar Red Crescent Society, the Kuwait Red Crescent Society and the Netherlands Red Cross, which have contributed medical aid and food. The Qatar Red Crescent has also set up a field clinic in the centre of Beddawi.
For further information, please contact:
Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva, tel
+41 22 730 25 90 or +41 79 251 93 18
Virginia de la Guardia, ICRC Beirut, tel +961 1 739 297/8/9 or +961 70 12 98 69
or visit our website: www.icrc.org