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WFP operational update: Lebanon

WFP delivers one week's rations to Beirut IDPs; two ships en route to the Lebanon capital's port; convoy heads for Sidon.

Introduction

WFP delivers one week's rations to Beirut internally displaced persons; two ships en route to the Lebanon capital's port ; 11-truck convoy heads for Sidon.

Beirut distributions

WFP today delivered one week's supply of food rations - High Energy biscuits, vegetable oil, canned meat - to 6,250 Lebanese IDPs sheltering in 20 locations in the Ramlet and Bayda area of Beirut.

Flour was also given to bakers to distribute as bread. WFP and the Ministry of Social Affairs are currently negotiating with the bakers' association on the provision of bread to IDPs.

WFP has already distributed food aid for more than 2,000 people living in squalid conditions in 45 degree Celsius heat at Sanayeh Park, Beirut.

The Government estimates that there are some 37,000 IDPs living in parks, schools and institutions in Beirut, with tens of thousands more scattered in areas of Mount Lebanon, close to Beirut.

In total, about a quarter of Lebanon's population have fled their homes. They are staying with family/friends, in makeshift shelters or in disused public buildings where sanitation is poor.

Convoy update

WFP dispatched an 11-truck convoy to Sidon on Wednesday: seven UNHRWA (food and general relief); two UNICEF (medical and water plus water purification) and two UNFPA (hygiene kits).

Another convoy planned for Nabatiyah was cancelled because the Israeli Defence Force failed to give their concurrence. WFP will try to send the convoy tomorrow.

Some 70 bridges have been destroyed across the country, making deliveries of humanitarian relief extremely difficult -- even when WFP receives concurrence.

Following the destruction of the last remaining bridge over the River Litani earlier this week, WFP expects access to the southern port city of Tyre to remain "difficult for a while."

The Red Cross estimated that some 100,000 people remain south of the Litani river -- about a quarter of the original population.

Ships

With damage to infrastructure and security concerns limiting the number of aid convoys on Lebanon's roads, WFP is intensifying its efforts to send humanitarian assistance by sea.

The WFP-contracted Anamcara, a multi-purpose roll-on, roll-off Greek vessel arrived this morning at Piraeus, Greece from Brindisi, loaded with WFP high-energy biscuits as well as supplies for World Vision and Caritas -- two ambulances, two trucks plus medical items.

The vessel is expected to arrive in Larnaca, Cyprus on 12 August from where it will sail to Beirut.

Another ship, the Kazim Genc, is loading humanitarian cargo at Mersin, Turkey. It is scheduled to offload 2456 mt wheat flour, 95 mt pasta and 183 mt pulses in Beirut on Saturday, before proceeding to the Syrian port of Tartous.

WFP has assembled two rubhalls - mobile warehouses - for the storage of humanitarian supplies in Quarantina area of Beirut's port. The frame of a third will be erected later today.