- Operational Updates: Cargo Movement, Shipping and Airlift
1. Operations Update:
The ceasefire continues to hold between Lebanon and Israel. On 4th September a Qatar Airways flight broke the imposed air blockade on Lebanon by flying directly from Doha to Beirut without passing through Amman. It landed at Beirut International Airport without incident.
The imposed 8-week blockade on Lebanon was due to be lifted on 7th September. However, while the air blockade has now ended, as of 8th September the sea blockade remains in place.
The National Deming Office issued a report on 2nd September on mine and UXO casualties covering the period between 14th and 28th August 2006. Results show that during this period the number of casualties was equivalent to the total casualties between 2003 and 2005.
Current road conditions and the threat of UXO are still making access to south Lebanon a challenge. Information on UXO and mines are available at: www.unjlc.org/lebanon/infosheets/ or at www.maccsl.org.
The Government of Lebanon's electricity authority, Electricite du Liban (ETL), has 14 teams across Lebanon working to repair damage to the electricity system. Repairs of the main power lines and switches are expected to be completed by the end of this week.
The Logistics Cluster Beirut is now organizing logistics meetings twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays at 9:00 am.
Logistics Cluster meetings in Tyre are taking place daily at 9:00 am at the WFP/UNJLC offices, located next to the United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre (UN MAAC) compound. Space is available in these offices and WFP is also able to offer temporary storage space for interested agencies. All Logistics Cluster meeting minutes are available at www.unjlc.org/lebanon
With the downsizing of the Logistics Cluster in Cyprus and the M/V Anamcara expected to make her last sailing to Beirut early next week, the weekly Cluster meetings have now been discontinued. Logistic Cluster staff will still be maintained in Larnaca to address any specific issues that may arise.
During the last reporting week, convoys reached the following areas: Tyre, Saala, Bafliye, Ynouh, Cheeba, Al Khiam, Debaal, Markaba, Aainata, Aaitarum, Bramiye, Ghaziye, Aanquom, Ain Ed Delb, Arkey, Dar Es Silim, Hlaliye, Majdelyoun, Maamriye, and Bent Jbeil. Detailed information on convoys can be found on UNJLC website: www.unjlc.org/lebanon/cargo
UNJLC has provided all data on food and NFI moment through the Logistics Cluster to the Lebanese High Relief Council (HRC). Maps showing food and NFI distribution have also been produced and given to the HRC.
UNJLC continued its efforts to prioritize non food item (NFI) distribution using the Joint Supply Tracker (JST), a system developed in collaboration with UNICEF staff.
Purposes of the JST are to:
1. Increase pipeline visibility and transparency;
2. Track NFI from CLPs up to Extended Delivery Point (EDP);
3. Prioritize supply movements in accordance with agency needs
The latest JST report is available at www.unjlc.org/lebanon/supply
On 4th September, the WFP chartered passenger vessel "Vittoria" discontinued her service between Cyprus and Lebanon. The vessel has been providing a regular service between Cyprus and Beirut since her first sailing on 17th August. Over this period she carried 265 passengers, including 48 Lebanese nationals repatriated to Lebanon. More details on the Vittoria's last sailing are available at: www.unjlc.org/lebanon.
Commercial options for passenger transport are now underway. Please refer to www.unjlc.org/lebanon/transport.
Cargo shipping has continued between Cyprus and Lebanon. The Anamcara is currently sailing to Beirut, where she expected to arrive on the evening of 8th September.
Several non UN / Lebanese Government vessels carrying fuel, equipment and relief supplies are scheduled to arrive in Beirut over the coming days. The procedure was facilitated by the Logistics Cluster. All information on incoming vessels is available at: www.unjlc.org/lebanon.
WFP/UNHAS has been tasking two TRANSALL C160 medium lift aircrafts from the German Air Force for cargo transport between Larnaca and Beirut. These will be making two more flights from Larnaca to Beirut on 8th September and 9th September and one from Amman on 11th September. After this date they are to due to end their service, although the aircraft may remain available for occasional airlift support should the need arise.
Two of the three main runways of the airport are now open for use: Runway 16 for landing and runway 21 for takeoff. The Beirut International airport is now available for use on a 24 hours basis, however Jet A1 remains available only in limited quantities.
For the current planned schedule of Middle East Airlines (MEA) And Royal Jordanian Airlines flights to and from Beirut, please refer to www.unjlc.org/lebanon/transport. It is hoped that with the lifting of the air blockade, further commercial options will soon become available.
The Damour Bridge will be opening on 8th September following repairs. This is the first reopening resulting from French engineering efforts, and the French Minister of Transport will be present to mark the event.
UNJLC/GIS officers met with the French Military CIMIC officer on 1st September, who expressed his appreciation for the UNJLC Hazards to Movement maps. The French Engineering commander is now providing UNJLC with information on all bridge and road repair activities undertaken by the French forces.
UNJLC met with the Director of Operations of the Lebanese Ministry of Public Works. Mr Ramzy Ramadan expressed his interest in UNJLC's GIS work and new bridge spreadsheet format. It was noted that the rapid deployment of engineers to meet field assessment requirements plus the steady stream of diplomatic missions has created a degree of confusion, and UNJLC has now been asked to provide assistance tools for project organization.
UNJLC met with the Lebanese High Relief Council (HRC) and ICRC to explore further coordination on the tracking, reporting and mapping of food and non food items (NFI) entering the country through the Logistics Cluster, HRC and ICRC.
UNJLC has updated its Hazards to Movement map series as of 31st August. These include the latest updates on explosive hazards and road access. The new maps have an expanded coverage of the entire country as well as a new inset index table summarizing the status of all damaged bridges on the map sheet.
A complete catalogue of maps is available on www.unjlc.org/lebanon/maps.