GENEVA / BEIRUT HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

11-Aug-2020 00:03:22
One week on from the explosion that devastated the port of Beirut and much of the Lebanese capital’s downtown area, UN humanitarian agencies are at work bringing immediate aid and mapping the extent of the damage to meet the Lebanese people’s most critical needs. UNTV CH
Size
Format
Acquire
N/A
Hi-Res formats
DESCRIPTION
STORY: GENEVA / BEIRUT HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE
TRT: 3:22
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 AUGUST 2O2O, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1.Wide shot, UN Geneva, Palais des Nations, flag alley, a beautiful day (stock).
2.Wide Shot, UN Geneva press room
3.SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, UN OCHA Spokesperson :
“Fourteen urban search and rescue teams from 11 countries were sent, were deployed, from various parts of the world under the auspices of what is called the Interact, which is coordinated by OCHA, to look for survivors. They are still there, they continue to work. The latest update I have as of this morning is that so far, there is no confirmed survivors.”
4.Wide Shot, UN Geneva press room
5.SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, UN OCHA Spokesperson:
“We have also done a rapid assessment of some 55 primary health centers in the blast area. That assessment found that 37 percent sustained moderate to serious, serious, damage and that less than half of them can still provide full routine health services.”
6.Med Shot, two people attending briefing
7.SOUNDBITE (English) Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Spokesperson:
“Many households don’t have sustained access to clean water supply because of damages to connections between water sources and buildings, and within buildings.”
8.Med shot, Camera crews at briefing
9.SOUNDBITE (English) Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Spokesperson:
“UNICEF is delivering water to port workers and first responders, and trucking water to the three Lebanese Red Cross kiosks that are providing assistance to victims. Our partners are distributing water pads, hygiene supplies including sanitary pads, infection prevention materials and baby kits to families living in temporary shelters.”
10.Med shot, journalist
11.SOUNDBITE (English) Tamara Alrifai, spokesperson for UNRWA:
“We fear that this entire community will slip even into hardship, and this is why, like some my other colleagues including UNICEF just said, it is very important to provide immediate support, and in our case it is cash assistance to Palestine refugees who have almost lost all their means of livelihood.”
12.Med shot, journalist
13.SOUNDBITE (English) Elisabeth Byrs, Spokesperson of the World Food Programme (WFP):
“WFP is bringing into the country a three-month supply of wheat flour and grains for bakery. The first wheat shipment is due to arrive within ten days.”
14.Med shot, people at briefing
15.SOUNDBITE (English) Tarik Jasarevic, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson:
“Our priorities include immediate emergency care for injured patients, ongoing assessment of health impact and humanitarian needs, coordination of the international medical response, continuity of COVID care, procurement for PPEs for health workers, provision of essential medical supplies to fill urgent gaps and also rapid restoration of functioning of damaged health facilities.”
16.Wide Shot, moderator Alessandra Vellucci at the rostrum
17.SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, UN OCHA Spokesperson:
“We should expect a flash appeal, in the coming days, for the humanitarian response.
18.Med shot, UN Geneva entrance with flag alley
19.SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, UN OCHA Spokesperson:
“It will be a lot of money. And it will be even more in the medium and longer term, I think everybody is saying that, and everybody is aware of that,” he said.
20.Wide shot, UN Geneva Palais des Nations, Pregny Gate
STORYLINE
One week on from the explosion that devastated the port of Beirut and much of the Lebanese capital’s downtown area, UN humanitarian agencies are at work bringing immediate aid and mapping the extent of the damage to meet the Lebanese people’s most critical needs.

The price tag of this international effort will likely be steep, agencies say, but has not yet been fully determined.

“Fourteen urban search and rescue teams from 11 countries were sent, were deployed, from various parts of the world under the auspices of what is called the Interact, which is coordinated by OCHA, to look for survivors” of the blast that killed some 162 people and injured more than 5,000, said Jens Laerke today (11 Aug), a spokesperson for the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), adding that “they are still there, they continue to work. The latest update I have as of this morning is that so far, there is no confirmed survivors”.

In addition to search and rescue operations, UN OCHA has been assessing the capacity of local health facilities in Beirut following the massive explosion.

Laerke said, “We have also done a rapid assessment of some 55 primary health centers in the blast area. That assessment found that 37 percent sustained moderate to serious, serious, damage and that less than half of them can still provide full routine health services.”

Additional concerns include food insecurity due to the port’s closure and the water and sanitation situations. According to Marixie Mercado, a spokesperson for UNICEF, which spearheads the international efforts on water and sanitation, “many households don’t have sustained access to clean water supply because of damages to connections between water sources and buildings, and within buildings.” This despite the main water network having been spared damage, Mercado said.

Water is a key concern also for those assisting the relief efforts. “UNICEF is delivering water to port workers and first responders, and trucking water to the three Lebanese Red Cross kiosks that are providing assistance to victims,” Mercado said, adding that “our partners are distributing water pads, hygiene supplies including sanitary pads, infection prevention materials and baby kits to families living in temporary shelters.”

In addition to water, the UN’s agency for children is delivering tetanus vaccines, and personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as psychological first care. It is appealing for USD 8.25 million, as a “very preliminary” figure, Mercado said.

As the nation that host the most refugees per capita of any other country in the world, concerns about the welfare of this vulnerable population group in Lebanon, were echoed by the UN refugee agency, UNCHR, who confirmed that “at least 34 refugees” were among the victims of the blast, and by the agency specifically dedicated to Palestine refugees, UNRWA.

“We fear that this entire community will slip even into hardship,” said Tamara Alrifai, a spokesperson for UNRWA, “and this is why , like some my other colleagues including UNICEF just said, it is very important to provide immediate support, and in our case it is cash assistance to Palestine refugees who have almost lost all their means of livelihood.” Medium and long term needs are likely to become an even greater problem, Alrifai said.

As concerns about the food supply mount, the UN World Food Programme’s (WFP) top official, David Beasley, has traveled to Beirut to inspect the situation first-hand. “ WFP is bringing into the country a 3-month supply of wheat flour and grains for bakery,” said WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs. Current supplies were estimated to last no more than six weeks, she said. “The first wheat shipment is due to arrive within 10 days,” she added.

For the World Health Organization (WHO), which is already having to grapple with the global response to COVID-19, “priorities include immediate emergency care for injured patients, ongoing assessment of health impact and humanitarian needs, coordination of the international medical response, continuity of COVID care, procurement for PPEs for health workers, provision of essential medical supplies to fill urgent gaps and also restoration of functioning of damaged health facilities,” said spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic.

How much will this cost, altogether? With WFP appealing for 235 million dollars and WHO for 76 million, the answer to the total tally will likely come in the next few days, according to OCHA’s Jens Laerke: “we should expect a flash appeal, in the coming days, for the humanitarian response.

He said, “it will be a lot of money. And it will be even more in the medium and longer term, I think everybody is saying that, and everybody is aware of that.”
Category
Geographic Subjects
Source
Alternate Title
unifeed200811a