July 25, 2006
Since the start of the war it has been the Lebanese medical staff, local authorities, and community associations that have provided most of the assistance. But they are already overstretched by the growing humanitarian needs and their capacities are obviously affected by the conflict. There is a real risk the situation will continue to deteriorate if massive assistance is not provided.
Because of the ongoing conflict MSF field teams and all other aid workers are facing very dangerous conditions, especially in the south of the country. There have been reports that ambulances and trucks transporting assistance have been bombarded in violation of the most essential humanitarian obligations. Access to civilians in the most exposed zones is difficult and dangerous. This is unacceptable and could have tragic consequences.
MSF has been able to transport aid shipments from Cyprus by sea and from Syria over land to Beirut. Field teams have started to provide assistance in Beirut and the Chouf area, as well as in the towns of Tyre and Jezinne in the south of the country. There has been an agreement reached between the warring parties to facilitate the transport of humanitarian aid to Beirut via sea and possibly via air. But this is only a first step. Bridges, roads, and other infrastructure have been destroyed. Humanitarian aid will only be effective if it reaches those most at risk: the displaced and the people in areas that are most affected by the bombardments and fighting.
MSF Activities in Lebanon
MSF has already sent 85 tons of supplies from Cyprus to Beirut to aid displaced Lebanese civilians. The shipment includes:
More MSF international staff and supplies are expected to arrive in Syria and Lebanon in the coming days.
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)