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Update No. 96/03 on ICRC activities in Lebanon

03-05-1996 Operational Update

 Civilians return to the south  

With a cease-fire in place since the night of 26 to 27 April, the people of southern Lebanon are returning home by the tens of thousands, and people are no longer taking shelter in public buildings. More than 300,000 had taken to their heels to flee the shelling. Over 160 Lebanese were killed and 350 wounded in the two week-long bombardment and Lebanon's infrastructure - roads, water systems and power stations - suffered severe damage. In addition, 90 per cent of the population in the south depend on agriculture for their livelihood and had to leave their crops untended for two weeks. As a consequence, many have lost entire harvests.

In northern Israel 62 civilians have been injured in rocket attacks since 11 April and numerous homes and other buildings in the region were damaged.

 ICRC assistance and evaluations  

On Saturday, 27 April, the ICRC organized a mobile clinic to two villages in the western Bekaa. The team took the opportunity to carry out a survey in villages there and gave food assistance in particular to people who had stayed in the area throughout the bombing. Surveys were also made in the Nabatieh, Sidon and Tyre areas where relief assistance was also given to those who had stayed during the fighting. At the weekend, 1,000 family parcels were handed out in the Tyre area alone, where the ICRC is the only organization to be distributing food assistance, and first-aid kits were hand ed over to two dispensaries. In the villages of Majdel Zoun, Mansouri and Qlaile, near Tyre, 1,869 family parcels were delivered yesterday to 955 families, mostly returnees whose crops had been lost through enforced neglect or as a result of the shelling.

During the hostilities the ICRC carried out a total of four convoys from Beirut to Tyre. The latest, last weekend, was made up of 21 vehicles, including three Lebanese Red Cross trucks, and transported 100 tonnes of medicines, food, and blankets to the south. On its return to Beirut, the convoy brought back two children to be reunited with their families who had sought shelter in a Beirut school.

 Lebanese Red Cross activities  

The Lebanese Red Cross continued its high level of activity. Between 22 and 26 April its first-aid department transported 44 wounded people to hospital and about 50 bodies to morgues. It moved 234 sick people, the majority in the south, and provided emergency transport for 330. It made over 100 emergency transfers of blood, treated 154 people in their homes (nearly half of them in the south) and held nearly a thousand consultations in its dispensaries.

Throughout the conflict the Lebanese Red Cross ran, at times, as many as 209 first-aid posts in existing hospitals and dispensaries in the country. A total of 135 National Society mobile clinics carried out missions in southern Lebanon, the Bekaa and Beirut: the teams were supplemented by doctors from the Ministry of Health and the American University Hospital in Beirut, and by individuals who had volunteered to help. UNICEF provided these teams with medicines. In all, they held some 5,000 consultations. In addition, the Lebanese Red Cross carried out 46 transfers of medicines in the Bekaa, Sidon and Tyre areas, and 44 transports of family parcels, including four in the ICRC convoys mentioned above. It distributed 30 tonnes of food in Bekaa, Chouf, Sidon and Tyre.

 "Magen David Adom" activities  

Between 9 and 27 April the " Magen David Adom " in northern Israel evacuated to medical structures 71 people from Upper Galilee and 21 from Western Galiliee who had been wounded in rocket attacks.