Summary: Lebanon: EU Commission launches aid decision for €10m and urges all to respect humanitarian law (20 July 2006: Brussels)
The European Commission is launching an emergency decision for €10 million to provide humanitarian aid for victims of the conflict in Lebanon. The funds, managed by the Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), will cover a range of urgent relief activities including the provision of emergency supplies for displaced people and medical assistance.
Louis Michel, the Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said: "In Lebanon, from a humanitarian standpoint, we are witnessing a tragic, downward spiral. We already have a crisis with rapidly growing unmet needs. Every day the fighting continues takes us closer to a human catastrophe."
The Commission announced on Monday that it had ring-fenced €5 million to fund urgent relief actions in Lebanon as soon as information about needs became available (IP/06/1012). ECHO now has enough data from its operational partners working in Lebanon to justify the doubling of this amount to €10 million, as an initial emergency contribution. The Commission is ready to provide more if the need arises.
"I hope that other donors will also contribute generously to the humanitarian effort, in international solidarity with the innocent victims of the conflict," said Louis Michel. He added: "I strongly urge belligerents on both sides to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. In particular, they should provide humanitarian corridors to ensure that relief agencies have speedy access to all those who are suffering."
The Commission's implementing partners for the new decision are likely to include the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), several United Nations humanitarian agencies and a number of experienced NGOs already working in Lebanon.