Since 7 October and the escalation of the violence between Israel and Hamas, heightening tensions in southern Lebanon has led to the evacuation of 30,000 people.HI is deeply concerned about the risk of a humanitarian crisis in the region.
Children lost due to the sudden change in their lives
Amal1 is originally from Ramyah, a village in southern Lebanon. She has found refuge in a converted school in Tyre with her five grandchildren aged 2 to 10.
Since their sudden departure a fortnight ago, their lives have changed radically. Confined to a single room, the children have become quarrelsome and tensions have built up. With no contact with the outside world, they don't feel safe to play without their grandmother watching over them.
Their mother, who is bringing up her five children on her own, is in hospital several miles away for a long stay. Amal is now her five grandchildren’s sole carer and she is overwhelmed by the situation. She needs help.
Psychological support and recreational activities
The older children understand why they have left their home and they are traumatised by the noise of the nearby conflict. But the younger children are feeling lost and confused.
Depending on the situation, displaced children and their parents have specific needs. HI has deployed a team of psychologists in reception centres for displaced people, such as the school in Tyre, to assess needs and then support local partners that provide help to the displaced population.
When it was there, the team helped people like Amal by giving them advises to help them manage and support the children during this difficult period.
HI is also providing the children with educational materials and toys: colouring books, storybooks, balls, toys, etc. Providing them with activities takes their mind off things and helps to soothe their fears.
HI action in southern Lebanon
In response to the emergency in the region, HI is assisting the displaced population by:
- Providing mobility aids (crutches, wheelchairs, etc.) for distribution by our partners,
- Training the Lebanese Red Cross to take into account the needs of people with disabilities in the evacuation and management of displaced people,
- Training organisations helping displaced people in the provision of psychological support.
- Training physical therapists in emergency rehabilitation in partnership with the Lebanese Order of Physical Therapists and the International Committee of the Red Cross,
- Running risk education and conflict preparedness sessions.
HI would like to thank the Start Network and the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their support to HI's activities in southern Lebanon.
The escalation between Israel and Hamas
HI is calling on all parties to the conflict to stop using explosive weapons in densely populated areas such as Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. HI also supports #CeasefireNow, an open call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and Israel to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and further loss of innocent life, and to ensure that humanitarian aid can be delivered quickly and safely.
1.The name has been changed to protect the person mentioned in the testimony.