World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Clearances, Devastation Hinder Urgent Mid East Aid

Security Clearances And Devastation Hinder Urgent UN Aid to Middle East Conflict Areas

New York, Aug 1 2006 7:00PM

Demolished roads and bridges, fuel shortages and an inability to get security guarantees are all hindering the United Nations emergency effort to get urgent humanitarian aid to those most in need in the Middle East, a UN spokesman said today, as the world body’s food agency warned there was “no time to waste.”

“All our agencies are mobilized to the best of their abilities to help the people of Lebanon and of Gaza and the West Bank, but the process is very ‘stop-and-start’ because of the conditions on the ground,” Ahmad Fawzi told reporters in New York.

“The conditions are treacherous, some of the roads are not functioning and also because of the security situation, we’re not getting security clearances for our convoys to go through as regularly as we would like them to go through,” he added, highlighting also a chronic fuel shortage in Lebanon.

“We hope that in the next 24 hours we’ll be able to re-supply Lebanon with fuel… fuel is so critical. I’ll give you one example: three hospitals in the south have had to shut down because of lack of fuel.”

The World Food Programme (WFP), which is coordinating UN and other humanitarian aid in Lebanon, said today that it had suffered another setback in its huge efforts to bring much-needed aid to the beleaguered inhabitants of southern Lebanon.

Out of three convoys planned for the villages of Tebnin, Rmeish and Naqoura, WFP only received concurrence from the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) to proceed to Tebnin, so only six trucks of food and other supplies are being sent instead of the 18 that had been planned.

“We are increasingly frustrated that our convoy movements are being hampered, leaving people in the south stranded for what is now nearly three weeks. We have no time to waste – they are running out of food, water and medicine. Many are poor, sick, or elderly and could not be evacuated earlier,” warned Amer Daoudi, WFP Emergency Coordinator.

“We ask all parties to this conflict to allow these convoys to move – otherwise we are going to see even more tragedy and more suffering than we’ve seen so far.”

WFP also had to cancel a planned convoy to the southern Lebanese town of Marjayoun on Sunday, after the IDF refused to give their agreement to this shipment.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy also highlighted the difficulties faced in getting emergency aid to those most in need and she again emphasized the importance of a cessation of hostilities.

“According to reports from our monitors on the ground, an estimated 177 children have been killed in Lebanon to date…The guns must stop firing to give all parties time to reflect on the impact of this war on children and to provide the space necessary for the formulation of a political framework to ensure a more permanent peace,” she said.

Regarding the UN’s overall humanitarian appeal for Lebanon, which last week called for $149 million in emergency assistance, Mr. Fawzi said today that nearly $25 million has been received so far in pledges and commitments, although large quantities of bilateral aid – outside the appeal – have also been pledged.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news