lundi 17 juillet 2006

Caritas Lebanon Migrants Center Relief Activities - Update 17/07/2006

General Information:

Regretfully, Freedom has always had the highest price. It has been six days now that Lebanon is under the merciless Israel: attacks the situation is more critical and death-defying than the first day of these attacks, especially that neither definite resolution nor prompt political intervention for a global pressure on both sides is taking place to ceasefire. In either case, civilians are first and utmost affected by these gradually devastating attacks on Lebanese cities, killing and injuring scores of civilians.

The various regions of Lebanon whether in Beirut, the South, the North, the Center are completely cut off from each other and from any possible assistance due to the intensive Israeli airstrikes leading to a total destruction of connecting roads, bridges, airports and ports. Supplies, electricity, water, food and other basic needs are, if not inexistent at all, becoming scarce and impossible to be replenished or delivered. Lebanon and its areas rely for the moment on the more or less inexistent storage and possible assistance from surroundings or outside support.

More than 12,000 families from the South and Beirut fled the daily targeted areas and surroundings. They left leaving behind everything they own and nothing in possession fearing for their safety and their families. They thought and took refuge in so called more secured areas in places like Churches, Mosques, schools, clubs, hosted by other people in that area or relatives, even in outer air and setting tents in forest or public places such as gardens and factories. However, those so-called areas are becoming themselves unsecured and potential targets for Israeli attacks. Currently we could say the circle is tightened.

There are no clues no vision to the length of such suffering many Lebanese are enduring now, while the crisis whether on the economical, humanitarian, or security levels is increasingly deteriorating everyday. With over 200 deaths and more than 500 injuries (men, women and children) since the beginning of Israel’s wide scale offensive on July 12 and not sparing anyone, we are experiencing an outbreak of humanitarian crisis in the Lebanese territories. Civilians (Lebanese, Refugees and migrants) are carrying the brunt of this current unjustified offensive and in need of immediate humanitarian and medical assistance.

Displaced Lebanese people:

According to the news, displaced Lebanese people are uncountable. While many Lebanese holding another European or other nationalities have been and are being rescued and transported by their relevant embassies, to be evacuated others are not so fortunate and more than 12,000 families were forced to leave their home towns and villages and seek refuge in other areas of Lebanon.

Till date, in coordination with other humanitarian organizations and the government, Caritas Lebanon and Caritas Migrant Center teams have visited more than 5,000 families to assess their needs that can be resumed by medication and pharmaceuticals, nutrition and basic needs.

All Caritas sectors and their social workers (in Borj Hammoud, Nabaah, Baabda, Beit Mery, North, and Jounieh) are on stand-by and started receiving families to respond and provide for their needs. Currently needs are being listed. Ours and other local partners' capacities are being assessed to respond. We are contacting suppliers and traders to gather all possible supplies for them.

During the last two days four trucks filled with basic needs and food prepared by Caritas were sent to the South of Lebanon. However, we are facing some difficulties to reach out to all areas due to main and districts roads cut offs and constant bombarding by Israeli aircrafts. We have urged through the broadcasting channels to facilitate our movement and called upon all United Nations forces in the region to help us reach out to people stuck. Still, it is getting very difficult for us to get there and deliver all kind of needs especially nutrition and medication.


Caritas Migrant Center negotiated with the General Security Directorate to release detained foreigners in the Detention Center of the General Security located under the main bridge connecting Hazmieh –Adlieh and East Beirut (Dahiyeh). Since the beginning of Israeli attacks, bridges and main roads were mainly targeted. Consequently and due to the great risk of keeping them in such location, the General Security agreed to release and liberate the 500 detainees. Women were put in Caritas custody whereby, the Center established a temporary shelter for them in Keserwan (Rayfoun and Klayaat region) in collaboration with religious congregations. Since three days ago, this shelter is hosting an average of 250 persons per day and it is being under the responsibility and supervision of Caritas Migrant Center team that was functioning in the Detention Center.

The Center is coordinating with various Embassies (Srilankan, Philippino, Bengladeshi, Ethiopian) that are forwarding us their expatriates for assistance and shelter. We are trying our best to assert to their immediate needs.

Currently we are trying to secure their transfer to Syria and negotiating with their Embassies and the Lebanese Government to deport them back to their homeland. Caritas Migrant Center will ensure transport means and tickets for repatriation.

Migrants are more and more reaching out to us for help.


Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center established an emergency response team in its head quarters for both displaced Lebanese and migrants including refugees. Thousands of refugees especially Iraqis living in bombed areas of Beirut are coming to Caritas Center for assistance and shelter. They require basic needs, food, humanitarian, hygienic (shelter, diapers, and medical…). In addition, UNHCR has referred to us some cases and around 50 persons were taken in charge by Caritas and provided with a shelter.

We are doing our best to respond to their needs. Unfortunately, our means are limited and even the supplies are becoming scarce. Shelters are increasingly loaded and places are becoming unavailable. Secured areas are no longer defined as all Lebanon is being targeted at the moment.

This is in brief our situation in Lebanon and our struggle with destiny and against war destruction and Israel daily bombardment that afflict many innocent people, including old elderly men, women, and children of different nations. And apparently, there are no boundaries to Israeli attacks or regards to international humanitarian laws.