UN starts emergency plan to provide fuel to Lebanon hospitals

The UN has kicked off a three-month emergency plan to provide fuel to all of Lebanon’s public hospitals, primary health care centres and dispensaries servicing the most vulnerable communities.

“The plan aims to maintain critical health, water and sanitation services for the most vulnerable populations and prevent the discontinuation of lifesaving activities implemented by humanitarian actors,” Najat Rochdi, the UN deputy special coordinator for Lebanon, was quoted as saying in a statement released on Thursday.

This plan, developed in collaboration with the Unicef, World Health Organization (WHO) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working on health and WASH issues, is part of the broader UN coordinated Emergency Response Plan launched in early August with a financial ask of $383 million, to provide critical life-saving humanitarian assistance to most vulnerable Lebanese and migrants affected by the ongoing crises, reports Xinhua news agency.

Rochdi explained that the UN intervention is temporary as the responsibility to ensure uninterrupted provision of basic services remains with the government of Lebanon.

“I call on the government to save no effort to implement, at the earliest possible, sustainable solutions to the on-going energy crisis and to protect the rights of families in Lebanon to access essential services” the deputy special coordinator said.

Lebanon has been facing an unprecedented financial crisis amid shortage of US currency reserves which prevent the country from importing its essential needs including fuel, medicines and food products.

The shortage of fuel has posed great challenges on hospitals which were forced, in some cases, to put off operations, risking the health of patients.