With the crisis in Lebanon escalating, WFP said today that hundreds of thousands of displaced people are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain food and other essentials.
“Damage to roads and bridges has almost completely disrupted the food supply chain, hurting large numbers of the displaced,” said Amer Daoudi, the leader of a WFP assessment team now in Beirut.
If the security situation continues to deteriorate, many more people will leave their homes and need humanitarian assistance.
Naila Sabra, WFP Regional Director
WFP is increasingly concerned about those cut off the conflict, particularly in southern Lebanon.
In addition to providing vital food assistance, on behalf of the UN agencies working in Lebanon, WFP personnel on the ground have the lead role in coordinating logistics and telecommunications in support of staff safety.
“We ask all parties to the conflict to respect the neutrality and impartiality of aid workers and to allow unfettered access to all areas, to allow us to reach these very needy people as quickly as possible,” said Naila Sabra, WFP’s Regional Director for the Middle East and Central Asia.
“If the security situation continues to deteriorate, many more people will leave their homes and need humanitarian assistance,” Sabra added.
An estimated 500,000 people have fled their homes during a week of shelling, according to Lebanese government figures, with many now sheltering in public buildings such as schools and community centres.
Dwindling supplies and unsafe roads are compounding the problem of access to food.
WFP is finalizing an emergency plan to reach the hardest hit people, most of them women and children. This will form part of a planned UN Flash Appeal to be issued in the next few days.
Lebanon is a food deficit country, importing 90 percent of its grain requirements.
Estimates of existing food supplies range from one to three months, but major infrastructural damage, growing insecurity and rapidly rising prices make access to food difficult.