IRC Wraps Up Emergency Program In Lebanon
The International Rescue Committees’s Emergency Response Team has concluded a three-month relief effort in Lebanon that provided urgent assistance to thousands of people affected by recent fighting between Israeli forces and Hezbollah.
After a ceasefire was announced in August, the IRC’s plan to aid displaced people in Beirut evolved into a program to help Lebanese returnees in bombarded southern villages. Jason Snuggs, IRC environmental health coordinator, teamed up with a local partner to replace hundreds of water tanks and install dozens of generators that enabled individual homes and whole villages to pump water again.
The team also provided hundreds of returnee families with personal hygiene and household cleaning supplies. IRC child protection specialists Stephen Hanmer and Monica Martin, meanwhile, worked with community volunteers and local partners to establish children’s centers in six southern villages. These centers provided safe areas for more than 900 war-traumatized children to play, sing and take part in recreational activities.
The IRC also focused on women: the emergency team’s Sonia Navani worked with a local women’s organization to improve its ability to respond to women’s needs, especially the prevention of sexual violence. Summing up the emergency team’s experience, team leader Alan Manski said the IRC was able to provide valuable short-term relief, while boosting the capacity of local organizations to meet continuing needs.