With no let-up in the Israeli offensive, thousands of people are trying to flee southern Lebanon. Some were apparently taking heed of warnings from Israel this weekend to leave the region, while others were on the move simply because air raids were striking dangerously close to home.
The conflict has displaced around half a million people, many taking shelter in schools where space is at a premium and sanitation facilities under pressure. The UN’s emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland has appealed to international donors for almost 80 million euros to help avert a humanitarian disaster.
“At the moment we’re not able to get relief into the country in any quantities, and even more importantly, we’re not able to distribute it beyond a certain few points which we can reach at the moment,” he said. While Israel has relaxed restrictions on Lebanon’s blockaded ports, the UN says safe corridors by land, sea and air must be set up to improve the flow of aid.