Kiwi aid worker helps with resettlement in Lebanon
New Zealander Judy Moore is one of three members of World Vision's Global Rapid Response Team working in southern Lebanon. She has just carried out a rapid needs assessment in ten villages within the southern Lebanon district of Marjeyoun, which are being repopulated by returning civilians who were displaced from their homes by the month-long conflict.
Located in the region of heaviest fighting between Israeli and Hezbollah forces, the villages are in most urgent need of water and electricity, according to the assessment.
The assessment paved the way for World Vision's first large convoy of relief aid into southern Lebanon following the 18 August ceasefire – planned for 23 August.
"The village leaders, they say that if water and electricity is provided, people will definitely return," says Judy Moore, GRRT Senior Relief Associate. "But they still face enormous challenges – hundreds of houses and household water tanks have been destroyed just in the villages that we visited.
"Some medical dispensaries had been shelled, crops are burned up and many sheep, goats and other livestock that families relied on for income are now dead. In addition, with so much unexploded ordinance scattered around southern Lebanon, the entire region is a very dangerous environment for returning families, especially children," Moore says.
World Vision operates an Area Development Programme (ADP) in Marjeyoun for 12 villages and 1,500 sponsored children. The majority of these children were displaced by conflict and are now returning with their families to the area.
As part of its ongoing relief activities, World Vision plans to provide household water tanks, small electric generators, water filtration systems and purification tablets to households in the Marjeyoun district.
Security conditions permitting, assessments will be expanded in coming days to many more villages extending from Marjeyoun district southward to the district of Ben Jbail, where the Lebanon office operated a large-scale agricultural programme prior to the war.
"We also hope to provide psycho-social programming for the children, who should be back in school within a month," Moore added. "While all of southern Lebanon is still very unstable, we want to be able to work there long enough to improve the lives of local people."