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With the acute emergency phase ending, MSF scales down activities in Lebanon

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One week after the ceasefire came into effect, the acute phase of the humanitarian emergency is ending. A vast majority of the displaced people have returned home and Lebanese society is providing most of the assistance.

In this context, MSF has started to scale down its activity but continues to monitor what is still a fragile situation.

These past days, MSF teams have been distributing relief goods to returnees and people who stayed behind in the most affected areas of south Lebanon and the eastern Bekaa Valley. They are also working to ensure water supply in heavily damaged villages and continue to support clinics and hospitals through drug donations.

Operating from Jezzine, a team has been monitoring the situation, evaluating needs and distributing relief items and medical material in villages close to the southeastern border, from Aadaisse to Blida. With Lebanese doctors present in the region, medical needs are rapidly diminishing. The team is also following up the situation in Jezzine district and the lower Bekaa Valley. In this region, about 25,000 displaced people have received relief items such as mattresses, baby milk formula and hygiene kits.

In the coming days, an MSF team based out of Tyre (Sour) will continue to evaluate needs in the region south of the Litani River. In Aita ech Chaab, Aitaroun and Aainata, a group of severely damaged villages along the border with Israel, the team distributed relief items such as hygiene and cooking sets, sheets, blankets and some tents. It also installed water tanks in villages where the water supply system was destroyed. Drug donations to several clinics and hospitals in the region, such as Bent Jbail and Tibnin, are currently being maintained.

As most displaced have now returned home, MSF has stopped operating its fixed clinic in Saada (Sidon) and will do so in Sour (Tyre) this week. Previously, MSF teams had distributed hygiene and cooking kits as well as blankets, bed sheets and baby milk formula to about 23,000 displaced people in and around Sour and SaÃ?¯da.

The more than 100,000 internally displaced people that sought refuge in Beirut began returning immediately after the ceasefire came into effect. Almost all collective centres are now empty. As a result the medical and psychosocial care administered by mobile teams has ended.

In Beirut’s southern suburbs, which came under heavy bombardment, MSF is supporting a clinic, assessing how badly damaged medical structures are and whether further assistance is needed.

In Baalbek, MSF continues to support the government hospital through drug donations. A team has distributed 1’500 hygiene kits, 500 cooking sets and some blankets and tents to displaced people in the city and the surrounding villages. In the coming days a medical team will assess the needs in villages north of Baalbek. In addition, a team made up of a psychiatric and psychologist are assessing the mental health situation of the population in the area.

Almost all displaced people who had sought refuge in the Aley region (Chouf mountain) have returned home. MSF has therefore ended the provision of drugs to patients with chronic illnesses and finished the distribution of relief items. MSF provided emergency aid to about 10,000 displaced people in the area, offered medical care through clinics as well as home visits, and supplied drugs to the hospital in Aley and several other clinics.

Throughout the conflict, MSF teams have been distributing relief goods to the most needy. In total, close to 60,000 displaced in Lebanon and 8,500 refugees in Syria have received non food items such as cooking equipment, mattresses, blankets, stoves, and hygiene kits containing soap, razors, toothbrushes etc.

So far, more than 300 tones of material has been sent to Beirut and distributed to the different areas where MSF teams are working. This material is mainly composed of non food items, medical materials (material for dialysis, medicines, surgical kits, etc.) and logistical materials (sanitation equipment, water bladders, cars, etc.)

International Staff: 30 National staff: over 50