As additional corridors for the transport of aid open up into Lebanon, German Government aircraft are now beginning rotations between Larnaca and Beirut to carry shipments of humanitarian goods.
The situation in Lebanon has improved since the cessation of hostilities laid out in Security Council resolution 1701 came into effect on August 14th, despite some violations which have drawn attention to its current fragility. The IDF has withdrawn 2/3 of its troops as UNIFIL moves into position, and the Lebanese Army has already deployed over 1,500 soldiers in the south. An international force, which will probably be under Italian lead, is slowly being gathered to support peacekeeping operations, and an initial 200 French troops arrived on August 21st. Work has begun to repair the road network and bridges which suffered severe damage during the conflict, and restrictions on aid convoys are easing, though the threat of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in many areas means extreme caution is still required.
In Beirut, the Rafik Hariri International Airport has reopened to international traffic, marking the end of the 36-day Israeli blockade, and the airport is now under repair. The first flight, by Middle Eastern Airways, took place on August 17th, and Jordanian Airways are now running three flights a day into Beirut. With the opening up of this corridor, OCHA has requested and obtained airlift support from the German Government to transport aid from Ammam and Cyprus, and yesterday morning (22/08/06) the first German government flight between Larnaca and Beirut left the airport at 07:00 hours. Its initial shipment consisted of 4.5 MT of goods for WHO and WFP, which was booked for transport through the Logistics Cluster Cargo Movement Request (CMR) procedure. Two C-160s will be stationed in Larnaca and flights are expected to continue daily over the next week to ten days. 344 MT of goods are in the pipeline for transportation from Cyprus to Beirut, including items for ICRC, UNHCR and the Russian Embassy.
UNJLC Cyprus currently has a staff member at Larnaca airport to coordinate the arrival and departure of all goods moving through Cyprus via the Logistics Cluster CMR process, and to ensure the proper documentation and follow-up is available for all onward movement.
More information and CMR procedures -->