UNIFIL Head meets with Tyre district mayors to hear their concerns 

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21 Feb 2024

UNIFIL Head meets with Tyre district mayors to hear their concerns 

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Lieutenant General Aroldo Lázaro, accompanied by UNIFIL officials, met with mayors from around the Tyre Caza today to hear their concerns and talk about the needs of their residents as the exchanges of fire continue in south Lebanon.

“It is paramount to have these strong relationships with all of you, between the community and UNIFIL, in all the area of operations,” the UNIFIL chief told the gathered mayors. “We continue our cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces and the local communities.”

Highlighting the support that UNIFIL and its contingents have provided to first responders, civil defence, schools, health care agencies, women, children, and municipalities, he noted that the mission is coordinating with UN bodies, embassies, and NGOs to help get aid where it is needed.

According to UN agencies, 80,000 people have been displaced on the Lebanese side of the Blue Line, with about three-quarters of them relocated to the Tyre caza (district). While most are living with family or renting houses, about 200 families are living in shelters and receiving direct assistance.

The ongoing exchange of fire has caused immense hardship for all those displaced on both sides of the Blue Line, with women and children particularly vulnerable. The daily violence and uncertainty about the future have led to fear, anxiety, and depression. Many children who have left their home communities are no longer in school. The sudden influx of population has also strained local infrastructure and services, which is why many communities have had to reach out to UNIFIL for help.

“We are working very hard with the parties to avoid a situation of escalation,” the UNIFIL head said. “UN Security Council resolution 1701 is the framework. We have to support the government of Lebanon and the LAF for the implementation of 1701. This is what we are trying to do every day.”