BEIRUT, Lebanon, AUG. 29, 2006 (Zenit.org).- As Lebanon begins to rebuild after the 34-day war that devastated the country, Caritas-Lebanon is receiving international support to help the resettlement process go as smoothly as possible.
“Our main priorities now are on assisting people to resettle, as much as possible, giving priority to education and income-generating activities,” said George Khoury, executive director of Caritas-Lebanon.
His comments came at the end of the Caritas partners’ meeting in Paris last week, which brought together representatives from Caritas member organizations actively involved in the large-scale relief efforts under way in the Middle East.
During the two-day meeting, participants mapped out strategies for moving forward with the task of rehabilitating the war-ravaged country.
Caritas-Lebanon is planning to provide 4,000 extremely vulnerable families with food parcels for a two-month period.
With the school year fast approaching, financial support will be given to 4,000 families for tuition, registration fees, and educational materials.
The Israeli-Hezbollah conflict also took its toll on people’s livelihoods. Caritas-Lebanon will provide grants to farmers to enable them to buy the necessary tools and inputs to help kick-start agricultural activity, while 500 fishermen will receive financial assistance to cover the costs of fishing equipment.
Assistance will be given to set up or restart small businesses, and to help repair 500 family homes.
Also high on the Caritas meeting’s agenda was the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the West Bank, where insecurity, air strikes, unpaid salaries, cuts in electricity, unaffordable fuel, and the limited movement of goods including much-needed medicines and food have made matters worse for the Palestinian people.
Caritas-Jerusalem continues to carry out crucial relief and rehabilitation work including the provision of food, healthcare assistance, educational support, and job creation activities, while Caritas partners in Paris also discussed ways to step up efforts to advocate for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land.