UNIFIL and humanitarian agencies discuss ways to better support south Lebanese communities

1 Jul 2024

UNIFIL and humanitarian agencies discuss ways to better support south Lebanese communities

While UNIFIL continues to communities as best it can, the needs are great and require a comprehensive approach.

Shama, 29 June 2024 – UNIFIL and international and national agencies and organizations met in Shama on Wednesday to discuss security and support for communities affected by fighting in south Lebanon.

The event, hosted at UNIFIL’s Sector West headquarters, brought together five United Nations agencies (OCHAUNHCR, UNDP, IOM and WFP), the representative of the Humanitarian Forum of Lebanese Internatinoal Non-Governmental Organizations, eleven international non-government organizations (Mouvement Social, OXFAM, Handicap International, ACF, NRC, INTERSOSDCAWorld VisionPremiere Urgence InternationalSave the Children, American Near East Refugee Aid), three national non-governmental organizations (Imam Sadr Foundation, NUSANED and Najdeh), and the International Committee of the Red Cross. All have been involved in the response to the ongoing exchanges of fire since October 2023.

The event, which had also taken place last month at UNIFIL’s Sector East headquarters, was strongly supported by the commander of the peacekeepers in UNIFIL’s western sector. 

"I want to highlight the importance of greater exchanges and complementarities between humanitarian organizations and UNIFIL in efforts to support both the displaced and the remaining communities in southern Lebanon," said Brigadier General Enrico Fontana. He shared with thosepresent the needs of the community that peacekeepers had identified for communities in southwest Lebanon. In addition to calls for improvements in basic services (waste management, water, electricity, education), there is a notable upward trend in demand for firefighting equipment, humanitarian assistance, medical services and the supply of medicines. 

While UNIFIL continues to extend support to communities within its means and capabilities, including through rapid impact projects and interventions and donations from troop-contributing countries, the growing needs require a coherent approach from all actors involved in crisis response.

The meeting concluded with the commitment to continue the dialogue and improve the sharing of information, to ensure ever greater effectiveness in addressing the needs of the southern Lebanese community by implementing, where possible, existing coordination mechanisms