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WFP operational update: Lebanon

Italian naval ship delivers WFP aid to Beirut; 500,000 people displaced by fighting; WFP finalising three-month emergency operation to help feed 310,000 of the most needy.

Highlights

Italian naval ship delivers WFP aid to Beirut; 500,000 people displaced by fighting; WFP finalising three-month emergency operation to help feed 310,000 of the most needy.

San Giorgio aid ship

With an estimated half a million people fleeing Lebanon's fighting with little more than the clothes they are wearing, urgently needed WFP food supplies reached Beirut on Sunday on board the Italian naval ship San Giorgio.

Some 25 tons of high energy biscuits were offloaded ready for distribution among people displaced by the week-old conflict, many of them children.

The aid package also included safety equipment for WFP staff, generators, water purification, medicines and ambulances.

Food insecurity: status

According to the Government, many of the estimated 500,000 people displaced from their homes and communities are living in public institutions and facing growing difficulties in obtaining food as supplies start to dwindle.

Most fled with very little food stocks and cash;shops are already being cleared out of food as people stock up.

Reports indicate that there is an estimated one to three months of food supplies in the country, but major infrastructural damage, growing insecurity and rising prices are all making access to supplies difficult.

Lebanon is a net importing country with 90 percent of its annual consumption of grain imported.

WFP emergency operation

WFP is currently finalising a three-month emergency operation to help feed 310,000 people, part of the UN's US$150 million Flash Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance, which is due for launch on July 25.

In addition to supplying food aid, WFP will also be the UN's lead agency on logistics; the Agency currently has an advance team of 10 staff operating in Lebanon.

With widespread destruction of the roads and bridges linking Beirut to southern Lebanon, UN aid convoys will deliver their humanitarian cargo under escort. WFP asks that all parties ensure that the relief convoys are guaranteed safe passage to people in need.

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