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Published:August 2nd, 2006 06:34 EST
Lebanon Response Report

Lebanon Response Report

By SOP newswire

Key Points·         Our top priority is helping Americans depart Lebanon safely.

·         The United States is committed to providing humanitarian relief to civilians caught up in the current crisis.Humanitarian Assistance·         USG Response: On July 24, Secretary Rice committed to provide up to $30 million in response to humanitarian operations in Lebanon, up to $20 million of which will come from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).

·         On July 26, USAID/OFDA contributed $7 million toward the U.N. Flash Appeal for Lebanon to WFP, the U.N. Joint Logistics Center (UNJLC), UNICEF, and OCHA. This is in addition to more than $294,000 for emergency relief supplies, including transport. On July 31, USAID/OFDA provided $3.3 million to Mercy Corps for water and sanitation services, psychosocial activities, and the distribution of food and emergency relief supplies. As of July 31, the DART has received proposals from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and anticipates a proposal from International Medical Corps (IMC) soon.

·         On July 26, State/PRM contributed $4.4 million to ICRC and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). On July 31, State/PRM provided $2 million to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in support of the U.N. Flash Appeal.

·         USAID’s Office of Food for Peace will likely contribute $1 million to support WFP.

·         Pending approval, USAID’s Bureau for Asia and the Near East will reprogram an estimated $7 million to support humanitarian activities.

·         On July 25, the U.S. Military airlifted to Beirut two health kits, each of which contains medicines, intravenous fluids, reusable equipment, and other medical supplies to treat 10,000 people for three months.  The U.S. Embassy consigned both to ICRC for delivery to affected populations in southern Lebanon.  A third kit arrived in Beirut on July 26. 

·         USAID is moving an additional seven emergency health kits, 1,000 tarps and 20,000 blankets from Cyprus to Lebanon.  The supplies will be distributed to NGOs working in the area. 

·         Anyone wishing to give money to help the people of Lebanon can do so from the USAID website: (Keyword Lebanon), or the Center for International Donations

Assisted Departures

·         As of 1130 EDT August 1, over 14,700 American citizens have been evacuated from Lebanon by the United States since Sunday, July 16.  18 American citizens and 6 Canadians left Beirut by helicopter July 31.

·         Approximately 11,350 American citizens have arrived safely in the United States via U.S. government chartered flights.  The last charter flight from Larnaca, Cyprus will depart August 2 with 255 Americans.

·         The United States has assisted with the departure of approximately 670 third country nationals.

·         U.S. Embassy Beirut will continue to work with non-governmental organizations, Lebanese Internal Security Forces, the Israeli Defense Forces, UN personnel and the governments of other nations to assist remaining Americans who wish to depart Lebanon to do so safely. 

·         U.S. Embassy Beirut urges American citizens to contact the embassy if they wish to leave.  We remain concerned about the welfare of all American citizens in Lebanon and will continue to facilitate their departure and return to the United States.

Ø       The Embassy is able to advise Americans in southern Lebanon on a case-by-case basis, depending upon their specific location and circumstances, such as access to telephones.

Ø       American citizens in southern Lebanon who require U.S. government assistance in departing Lebanon should seek to initiate and remain in contact with the U.S. Embassy for further guidance. Family members in the United States may contact the Department of State if they have information on their specific location.

Ø       We urge anyone with information on American citizens remaining in southern Lebanon to contact Embassy Beirut or the Task Force in Washington, DC. We continue to advise Americans in Lebanon to monitor the local radio and the U.S. Embassy Beirut website for the latest on assistance in departing Lebanon.

·         In this extraordinary case, the State Department has waived the requirement for American citizens departing Lebanon to reimburse the U.S. Government for travel costs.  What to do if you are in Lebanon or have loved ones in Lebanon?

·         Information is available from the Department of State by calling: 202-501-4444 (outside U.S.) and 1-888-407-4747 (inside U.S.).

·         Embassy Beirut has issued a press release urging Americans who wish to leave to do so now:

·         U.S. Embassy in Beirut phone numbers:  (961) 4 542600 – 543600

·         In Lebanon, listen to radio frequency 105.5 FM for announcements from U.S. Embassy.