Vienna, 8 August 2006 Press release

Plassnik: “Austrian emergency relief operation for Lebanon in full swing”


Austria helps to mitigate suffering of civilian population

Vienna, 8 August 2006 – "The Austrian emergency relief operation for the afflicted civilian population in Lebanon is now in full swing," reported Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik at today’s meeting of the Council of Ministers. In view of the strained humanitarian situation in Lebanon the Federal Government had reacted promptly at the end of July, earmarking emergency aid in the amount of 500,000 euros.

To date an amount of 325,000 euros has been remitted from the Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad for emergency activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The money is primarily aimed at safeguarding emergency supplies to the population in southern Lebanon affected by the hostilities and to internally displaced persons. Measures include emergency supply of the afflicted people with food, water, medications and hygiene articles as well as help in reuniting missed persons with their families.

Another 175,000 euros from the Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad will go to projects run by Austrian non-governmental organisations which have gathered in-depth experience in the Middle East. Their contracts will be signed before the end of this week. The funds will be used to provide basic supplies for internally displaced persons in camps such as Bourj el-Barajneh, Chatilla and numerous schools in the Beirut region which are meanwhile serving as refugee camps. The aid measures are focused on the distribution of food rations, safe drinking water, hygiene articles and medications as well as on psychosocial care for traumatised children.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
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Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-213