A Much-Needed Delivery

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1 Dec 2023

A Much-Needed Delivery

Last week, in the midst of continued exchanges of fire and heightened tension across the Blue Line, 144 tons of flour were delivered to several communities in South Lebanon by UNIFIL's Polish Contingent.

Funded by the Polish NGO Aid to the Church in Need , the flour donation project has been in the works for at least three months but the timing of the delivery could not have been better.

Not only has Lebanon been suffering from the economic crisis but the sudden outbreak of violence and daily exchanges of fire across the Blue Line on 8 October has increased the daily challenges for the people living in south Lebanon. 

The Polish peacekeepers, who are part of the IRISHPOLBATT contingent, have worked hard alongside the Polish “Aid to the Church in Need” NGO and UNIFIL's logistics branch to ship this generous amount of flour from the Poland Mills to Beirut port and transport it south to their area of responsibility along the Blue Line.

LT Pawel Zielinski of UNIFIL's Polish Civil Military Coordination (CIMIC) team explained that the flour was shipped from Poland in mid-September, which gave his team the time needed to work with the Lebanese Ministry of Trade and Economy to process the necessary approvals and certificates to allow the flour to enter the country and be used for consumption by the public.

Over several days 5760 bags of flour, each weighing 25 kg, were distributed to 30 villages, reaching thousands of people in need, including many displaced southerners who abandoned their homes because of the bombing and shelling in and around their villages close to the Blue Line. The distribution was organized in coordination with the Union of Municipalities of Bint Jbeil in South Lebanon.

Mr. Ali Saad, IRISHPOLBATT local coordinator and cultural advisor, summed up the feelings of the Union of Municipalities and the local population when he expressed his appreciation: "I would like to thank the Polish peacekeepers for their ongoing support to our local community in many projects and especially about the flour now, as it came in a very sensitive and needed time due to the bombardment."

For the Polish CIMIC team this has been a very challenging but hugely rewarding project, while also being completely different than the water, electricity and educational support they regularly provide. "I would like to say that the entire Polish CIMIC team felt honoured that in such a moment of crisis and the real threat of war in the region, we were able to distribute the flour, which will contribute to food production by the people most in need in southern Lebanon," said LT Zielinski.