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News note

Second UNICEF humanitarian air cargo to reach Beirut today

AMMAN/BEIRUT, 31 July 2006 – A Royal Jordanian Air Force  (RFJ) plane left Amman at 12:00 today, carrying a shipment of UNICEF emergency supplies to Lebanon.

This airlift, the second of its kind for UNICEF, includes 350 family water kits and 200,000 doses of Vitamin A, a micronutrient supplement intended to protect children from infectious diseases in crisis environments.

Vitamin A will be administered as part of a Lebanese Government immunization campaign supported by WHO and UNICEF starting tomorrow. Doses will be given to all children from nine months to five years of age in 144 centres hosting displaced people in the Beirut area. Children will also be vaccinated against measles during the campaign.

In a letter addressed to HM King Abdullah II, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Thomas McDermott today expressed gratitude for the timely and effective support the Kingdom has provided "at this crucial moment to the people and especially the children of Lebanon". The letter also hoped for joint collaboration to move additional supplies and personnel into Beirut.  

The RJF had carried a first UNICEF consignment of essential items to Beirut last Friday, providing affected communities with food, water, hygiene and medical supplies.


UNICEF has already provided $1.2 million for medical supplies and other immediate assistance. Two flights arrived in the region last week carrying 38 tonnes of supplies, including water kits with soap and buckets, water purification tablets and water containers for nearly 1,700 families. The consignments distributed last week also include oral rehydration salts to treat the symptoms of diarrhoea, essential drugs and recreation kits for children.

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 800,000 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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