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Lebanon: activities in 2012

21-01-2013 Field Newsletter

A round-up of the ICRC's work in Lebanon.


  • The Missing persons and their families
  • Visiting detainees
  • Together with the Lebanese Red Cross
  • Supporting health services
  • Disseminating international humanitarian law
  • Assisting refugees from Syria




When refugees began flooding into Lebanon from Syria, the ICRC delegation in Beirut sprang into action, helping the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) transfer the wounded, funding the treatment of some of the most urgent cases and assisting over 30,000 refugees, including Palestinians from Syrian camps.

The ICRC also helped ensure that the refugees were safe in Lebanon by persuading the Lebanese authorities to respect the principle of non-refoulement.

"Although refugees are not a primary ICRC responsibility, we are a humanitarian organization with a long history in Lebanon and the region, so of course we wanted to help," said Jürg Montani, head of the ICRC delegation in Beirut. "We took action where other humanitarian agencies or the authorities could not, or could not do so immediately, or where we had particular expertise."

Meanwhile, the ICRC’s previous work in Lebanon continued. In 2012, this included starting to collect detailed information on every person who disappeared during conflict and violence in Lebanon over the last few decades.

The ICRC also continued to visit people in prisons and other places of detention to monitor their conditions of detention and treatment, and worked with prison authorities on improving hygiene conditions and health care for detainees.

In the Palestinian camps, the ICRC completed a five-year programme to boost medical care in Palestine Red Crescent hospitals and provided first-aid training for communities and arms bearers.

Meanwhile, operational support and joint contingency planning with the ICRC's main Lebanese partner, the Lebanese Red Cross Society, helped ensure that the National Society could respond efficiently to any emergency.

Some of the ICRC’s main activities in 2012:

  • Collecting detailed information on 612 missing persons to help clarify their fate.
  • Visiting 5,183 detainees in 16 places of detention.
  • Repatriating 15 civilians and the bodies of six Lebanese nationals from Israel to Lebanon in our capacity as a neutral intermediary between the two countries.
  • Running courses and workshops on treating patients with weapon injuries for over 150 doctors and nurses who were treating Syrian casualties.
  • Financing the renovation of 10 centres for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) of the Lebanese Red Cross and supporting the training of 3,783 volunteers all over Lebanon.
  • Providing IT and medical equipment to EMS stations and maintaining 168 EMS ambulances.
  • Distributing essential supplies (such as food, mattresses, blankets, family hygiene kits, kitchen sets and other household items) to more than 30,000 refugees from Syria, including 10,700 Palestinians from Syrian camps.

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