Aid woefully short, says Unicef official

ABU DHABI — The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has admitted that it has received only $1.6 million in the wake of an appeal last week for $25 million to support relief operations in Lebanon.



By Atef Hanafi

Published: Tue 1 Aug 2006, 9:53 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:57 PM

"We appealed last week for $25 million to finance relief operations to rehabilitate children in Lebanon but we only received $500,000 from Qatar, $1 million from Saudi Arabia and $100,000 from a fund-raising campaign in Dubai," said Omar Shehada, regional donor relations officer, Unicef.

In a statement to Khaleej Times, Shehada said the international organisation expected a marked rise in the death toll, with child victims accounting for 45 per cent of casualties.

Scores of bodies were still to be retrieved from under the rubble in south Lebanon, he pointed out.

Condemning the massacre in Qana, he said: "The loss of a child is the loss of a whole country."

Unicef's national commissions in Sweden, Netherlands, Britain and France besides Japan had started raising funds during the first week of the Israeli offensive to support relief efforts in Lebanon, he observed.

Unicef's commissions in Netherlands had contributed 500,000 euros already, he pointed out. He explained that the UN had 125 relief workers on the field to back relief operations for the displaced and to extend logistics support to relief convoys moving into Lebanon. The Unicef alone had 30 personnel specialised in delivery of relief, he added.

Shehada paid tribute to the UAE for sending across planeloads of urgent medical supplies, including medicines for chronic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure and heart ailments besides antibiotics.

He added that a number of relief agencies operating in Lebanon had sought financial assistance to transport and deliver food and medical relief to displaced people at temporary shelters.


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