Beyond the wars
Toby Reynolds reports on the health and humanitarian crises in the Middle East
- By: Toby Reynolds
Hundreds of millions of dollars of aid flowing into Lebanon should ease the humanitarian situation after the month long war between Israel and Hizbollah, but conflict elsewhere in the region continues to exacerbate medical crises, particularly in Iraq and Gaza.
The fragile ceasefire in Lebanon brought the swift return of three quarters of the roughly one million displaced people. Thousands of civilians were still unable to return to their homes, many because they had lost livelihoods or houses. The United Nations refugee agency said that it expected many refugees to spend the coming winter in other villages. Unexploded bombs are also a problem, and at least 13 people have been killed and 48 injured by unexploded munitions since fighting stopped.
By early September, Israel had lifted a blockade of the country's airfields and ports, and emergency aid was flowing sufficiently smoothly to let the UN refugee agency broaden its focus