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News note

Jordan’s Air Force carries essential UNICEF supplies to Lebanon

AMMAN/BEIRUT, 28 July 2006 – Today a Royal Jordanian military aircraft arrived in Beirut at 13:20 with UNICEF humanitarian supplies. The flight carried 250 boxes of family water kits sufficient for 2,500 families and over 500,000 water purification tablets. It also carried 32 boxes of medical supplies for WHO, including urgently needed insulin.

The shipment was organised in cooperation with Jordan’s Crisis Management Center, which had started the airlift last Wednesday with a mobile hospital and medical equipment.

UNICEF’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Thomas McDermott saluted the Jordanian gesture of extending humanitarian assistance at this critical moment and appreciated the effective and strong leadership of the Kingdom in support of ongoing relief operations by the UN. "We are immensely grateful for this show of solidarity and trust that these vital supplies will urgently reach Lebanese women and children worst hit by continuing attacks".

Also today a joint UN truck convoy of 12 trucks carried 66 cartons of UNICEF-supplied essential drugs reached the southern towns of Sidon and Jezzine. On Wednesday, in collaboration with WFP, a first cargo of 40 tonnes of supplies had arrived in Tyre, including water purification tablets, soap and other hygiene necessities.

UNICEF has already provided $1.2 million for medical supplies and other immediate assistance. The first flight from Copenhagen arrived in Damascus on 23 July carrying 38 tonnes of supplies, including 168 water kits with enough soap, buckets, water purification tablets and water containers for nearly 1,700 families.  The plane also carried oral rehydration salts to treat the symptoms of diarrhoea, essential drugs and recreation kits for children containing sport equipment such as skipping ropes, footballs, volleyballs and nets and basketballs. A second plane left from Luxembourg for the region on Sunday, 23 July, carrying more water kits, 800 boxes of paracetamol and additional recreation kits.

UNICEF has appealed for $23.8 million to support children caught in the crisis, as part of the UN Flash appeal for some $150 million. UNICEF continues its efforts to meet the immediate needs of children representing half of the 700,000 displaced in Lebanon and refugees who have crossed into Syria.

For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information:

Jehane Sedky-Lavandero, UNICEF New York: (+1) 212 326 7261; jsedky@unicef.org

M. Anis Salem, UNICEF Amman: (+962) 79 557 9991 email; asalem@unicef.org

Wolfgang Friedl, UNICEF Amman: (+962) 6 553 9977 ext 422; wfriedl@unicef.org

Soha Boustani, UNICEF Beirut (+961) 1 978 620; sboustani@unicef.org

Wivina Belmonte, UNICEF Geneva: (+41 22) 909 5712; wbelmonte@unicef.org




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