World Vision alarmed at aid worker deaths in Lebanon

By June 13, 2007

Lebanon (MNN) — World Vision says the death of two Lebanese Red Cross workers in Northern Lebanon sets a dangerous precedent. They died when mortar shells exploded just outside the Palestinian refugee camp two days ago.

The violence Monday capped a weekend of fighting that claimed the lives of 11 additional soldiers and injured more than 100. Since fighting began May 20, more than 133 people, including 57 soldiers, have been killed at the Nahr el Bared camp. The violence threatens the already fragile lifeline to thousands of civilians still trapped there. Recent fighting has also displaced more than 30,000 people. 

World Vision is there, in the name of Christ, providing critical survival items and food support, as well as providing a haven for the children. The WVI team reports unsanitary conditions in the cramped quarters which has given rise to fears of infectious disease outbreaks, including lice and scabies.

Relief operations now include Bourj el-Barajneh and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps to which smaller numbers of families have fled. Among the displaced adult population are more than 200 pregnant women expected to give birth soon.

WVI launched the distribution of 200 baby cribs and sets of baby clothes to mothers who are near their delivery date. The stress of the conflict is especially telling among the children. In response, WVI helped with the creation of child-friendly spaces by providing tents and recreation kits to partners who are organizing the activities. The team will also supply 2,000 children between three and 13 years of age with a kit containing a cap, toys, crayons and a coloring book.

Pray for World Vision staff members to portray effectively our Heavenly Father's great love for all people.

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