Press Release

UNFPA Asks Donors for $6.2 Million to Meet Emergency Health Needs of Civilians Displaced by Conflict in Lebanon

24 July 2006
Author: UNFPA

NEW YORK/BEIRUT — UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is requesting $6.2 million from international donors to help address the urgent humanitarian concerns of displaced and otherwise war-affected populations in Lebanon and Syria over the next three months.

The UNFPA request is part of a UN-wide Flash Appeal issued today in Beirut. The UN estimates that as many as 750,000 have already been displaced since fighting began earlier this month. Civilians in southern Lebanon, which has borne the brunt of the conflict so far, are suffering from severe shortages of water, food, medical supplies, fuel and electricity.

“Urgent action is needed to protect the health and well-being of women, children and other innocent civilians,” said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. “The widespread destruction of public infrastructure and services is dangerous for everyone, but especially for pregnant women, the injured and others who may need medical care to survive.”

As part of its initial response, UNFPA has sent emergency health supplies and experienced medical doctors to the region, and is working with local partners to assemble and distribute kits containing soap and shampoo, towels, sanitary supplies and other basic hygiene supplies to families that were forced to flee their homes with few belongings. This assistance has been provided not only in Lebanon but also in Syria, which has already taken in more than 150,000 refugees since the crisis began.

In the emergency projects outlined in today’s Flash Appeal, UNFPA will work together with key UN partners, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and other local and international partners in Lebanon and Syria over the next three months to: 

  • Assist the Ministries of Health and other health partners in improving access to basic health services for displaced and host communities;
  • Provide emergency reproductive health assistance – including delivery and emergency obstetric care for pregnant women, equipment to maintain a safe blood supply, and family planning;
  • Help prevent and respond to cases of gender-based violence among the displaced; and
  • Safeguard the personal hygiene and dignity of displaced women and their families through the provision of essential hygiene supplies. 

***

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund is an international development agency that promotes the rights of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

Contact Information:

Omar Gharzeddine
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5028
Email: gharzeddine@unfpa.org  

Henrietta Aswad
Tel.: + 962 777 65 4544
Email: aswad@unfpa.org

David del Vecchio
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-4975
Email: delvecchio@unfpa.org

Lebanon
Population : 6.8 mil
Fertility rate
2.1
Maternal Mortality Ratio
29
Contraceptives prevalence rate
29
Population aged 10-24
25.3%

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