Lebanon Aid Paralyzed, UN Warns of Fuel Crisis

The UN warned on Thursday, August 10, that Lebanon was facing an imminent fuel shortage, paralyzing hospitals and shutting down electricity, as aid relief was brought to a complete halt over the Israeli destruction of bridges and roads.

Lebanon Aid Paralyzed, UN Warns of Fuel Crisis

"The fuel situation is the single most worrying humanitarian crisis at the moment," UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse (AFP). "If there's one thing that will be the most critical -- even more critical than food -- over the next days and weeks, it's fuel," he argued. Fuel supplies have been stifled in Lebanon by the Israeli bombings of roads and bridges in its month-long offensive, halting convoys of urgently needed relief supplies too.

Fuels imports have also been denied access into the country due to the Israeli blockade on Lebanon. Egeland said four hospitals in the south have already run out of fuel needed for generators that are crucial for surgery and stocking drugs. He warned against an electricity blackout due to the fuel shortage.

"The national electricity grid will even halt if there is no fuel coming in soon, and the two UN-supported tankers will help in this," Egeland noted. He said that the problem was even exacerbating after the owners of two oil tankers chartered by the UN stopped them docking in Beirut because conditions were regarded as too dangerous. Israeli forces have bombed major power stations, many of which are oil-fired. More than 1,200 Lebanese civilians, one third of whom were children, since Israel launched a large-scale offensive on the claim of seeking the release of two soldiers taken prisoners by Hizbullah.

Aid Paralyzed

The UN World Food Program said the destruction of bridges was crippling aid relief for the Lebanese civilians. "Our aid operation is like a patient starved of oxygen, facing paralysis, verging on death, if we can't open up our vital supply lines," said Zlatan Milisic, WFP emergency coordinator in Lebanon. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization said rising insecurity and damage to roads and bridges had almost completely disrupted the food chain.

"This, together with massive population displacements, is clearly an ingredient for a major food crisis," it said in a statement. Milisic said Israel's refusal to give safety guarantees to aid convoys has turned the aid efforts into a nightmare. Many truck drivers are refusing to deliver aid for fear of being targeted by Israel. Israel has warned that it would strike any vehicle traveling south of the Litani River, an area that includes the port city of Tyre. British-based Oxfam warned of a "logistical nightmare" in reaching the hardest-hit victims of the Israeli offensive.


The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Thursday, August 10, that it was defying the Israeli warning. "The people in the south are afraid. They are terrified to move," Rowan Gillies, president of MSF International, said in Beirut. "To forbid all forms of movement, without distinction, will lead to even more civilian deaths and suffering," he warned. MSF said it had suffered close calls with Israeli shelling and air strikes close to two of its convoys earlier this week. On Monday, Israeli warplanes attacked two cars traveling near a UN convoy, killing three people.

Source: Islamonline.net

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16