Humanitarian Action Report 2007 - Homepage

MENA LEBANON

CRITICAL ISSUES FOR CHILDREN

The war that waged on Lebanon from 12 July to 14 August 2006 had a particularly devastating effect on children: of the 1,191 persons who were killed and the 4,398 who were injured, an estimated one third were children. The 900,000 people who were displaced during the conflict, primarily in South Lebanon and the southern suburbs of Beirut, have returned to severely damaged areas that pose a major physical threat to their safety. Roads and other major infrastructure were extensively affected, with the damages to health infrastructure, the lack of essential drugs and the low fuel reserves preventing the maintenance of minimal health standards. Public health challenges were heightened by damage and destruction to water systems in urban and rural areas in South Lebanon, the Beqa’a Valley and the southern suburbs of Beirut, which left at least 1.7 million people affected by either temporary or full stoppage of water supply to their households. Some 40 to 50 schools were totally destroyed, while around 300 schools (10 per cent of all schools in the country) need repair. In addition to physical damages to infrastructure, school teachers must be prepared for the psychosocial effects of the war on children, young people and their parents. Cluster bombs and unexploded munitions pose an immediate and acute threat, particularly in the South, with as many as 1 million unexploded cluster sub-munitions in 592 strike locations.

PLANNED HUMANITARIAN ACTION FOR 2007

Health and nutrition: Benefiting some 400,000 children and their families in conflict-affected areas, UNICEF will restore and strengthen primary health care services providing supplies and equipment through the integration of community outreach services, especially for women and children, into the primary health care system in conflict-affected and underserved areas; revitalize routine immunization activities through effective outreach micro-planning and through activities aiming to reach every village in underserved/not served areas; restore destroyed cold-chain infrastructure with special emphasis on underserved areas and purchase necessary equipment; support Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in the development and implementation of a long-term master plan for reconstructing the health sector in Lebanon; support MoPH in building capacity for emergency response and management at the central and governorate levels.

Education: Benefiting some 400,000 schoolchildren and their families in conflict-affected and impoverished areas, UNICEF will provide recreational material and equipment for all 1,400 public schools in the country; involve all 1,400 public schools in specialized teacher trainings on psychosocial counselling techniques, as well as in identifying and training one or two counsellors in each school to be peer counsellors and give psychosocial support both to the administration and students; support the Ministry of Education in developing and implementing a long-term master plan for the reconstruction of the education sector.

Child protection: Benefiting up to 250,000 children in conflict-affected areas, UNICEF will establish about 30 child-friendly spaces in areas without cultural or recreational facilities for children and youth; provide psychosocial assistance to promote resilience and distress-coping mechanisms through structured play and other recreational activities facilitated by specially trained social workers and animators; stimulate youth to contribute to the rehabilitation of schools and community centres, and to promote civic participation and national dialogue; ensure that mine-risk/unexploded ordnance awareness and education activities cover all population in conflict-affected areas.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2007

Sector

US$

Health and nutrition

1,700,000

Education

1,500,000

Child protection

2,500,000

Total*

5,700,000

 

* The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.