|© UNICEF/SD-15/Anita Ehrhardt|
|At the UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen, a staff member packs recreational kits containing toys and games for Lebanese children affected by the crisis in the Middle East.|
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 8 September 2006 – UNICEF and its partners are now looking toward longer-term initiatives to protect children and rebuild the shattered communities of southern Lebanon.
UNICEF is partnering with local non-governmental organizations in the south to create protective environments for returning children and their families including monitoring and support programmes for family reunification and children who have experienced traumatic events. Around half of the 800,000 or so Lebanese who have been displaced by the conflict are children.
UNICEF is working closely with the Lebanese Government’s back-to-school initiative, with plans to provide 350,000 children with school bags, pens, pencils and notebooks – all the basics needed for them to return to classes when the new school year begins in October. Supply Division in the last month, sent school and recreational kits to meet the needs of 500,000 children in Lebanon.
UNICEF expects to play a leading role in restoring the cold chain infrastructure vital to the re-establishment of routine immunisation to protect children against measles and other diseases. Supply Division recently procured 75,000 doses of the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine and 100,000 doses of the Measles vaccine for Lebanese refugee children.
UNICEF is in charge of providing water and sanitation in affected areas. In addition to speeding up the delivery of supplies such as bottled water, UNICEF is working to place a number of large water tanks in the area. Supply Division procured 20 steel water tanks headed by truck to various locations in the south.
Distributing supplies to children and their families remains a challenge in the region, due to unexploded munitions and damaged roads. Supply Division remains committed to ensuring the immediate turnaround of emergency orders and assisting in emergency supply operations.