Relief a casualty in Lebanon fighting

By May 23, 2007

(MNN) — Lebanon's
militants offered a truce in order to get humanitarian aid into the embattled
refugee camp, Nahr el-Bared. But the
United Nations' aid convoy did not go well. 

Speaking from Beirut, World Vision's program coordinator in Lebanon, Ruba Khoury, tells us what happened. "The UN
convoy was entering the camp, and around 4:30 local time in Lebanon it was reported that
the convoy had been attacked. The
situation is increasingly making the aid more difficult to access for the
children, for the vulnerable."

The attack prompted many others to call for a ceasefire, if
only for a time, to respond to the escalating humanitarian crisis. 

According to published media reports, the Lebanese military
said it would not commit to a formal ceasefire but reiterated that its forces
would not be the first to open fire. At last report, heavy fire was being
traded again between the government forces and Fatah al-Islam fighters.

However, thousands took the opportunity of the brief lull in
the fighting to flee Nahr el-Bared and head for another camp located a few
miles to the south of Tripoli. World
Vision remains active in many of the camps and will send in local relief staff
to begin delivering aid as soon as safe passage can be assured. Once things settle
down a bit, the most urgent needs will likely be for water, food, emergency
medical care, and medicine, says Khoury.

With the current security problems, World Vision has had to suspend
their activities. Khoury says their
presence brought hope and peace in the midst of the fighting. "Jesus did
not discriminate between any target group. He served whoever needed the help,
and He came to save all the people. This is our prime testimony. We're in the
camp among refugees, serving with no discrimination. I think it's a testimony
to our Lord and Savior."

World Vision has served in Lebanon for 25 years, conducting extensive community development programs. World Vision donors support 12,600 children in Lebanon.

For more details on what you can do to help, click here.

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