'More than $10 mn needed to help Lebanon'
Israel's offensive against Lebanon began after the July 12 capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah guerrillas.india Updated: Jul 23, 2006 04:26 IST
The United Nation's humanitarian chief has said it would take more than $100 million to help the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese who have been hurt or displaced since the Israeli bombings began more than a week ago.
Addressing reporters in Cyprus on Saturday ahead of his trip to the Middle East, Jan Egeland said he would launch an international appeal for the next three months "urging, begging" the international community for contributions.
"It's already a very major crisis" he said, adding that more than 5,00,000 people have either been forced to flee or are trapped -- a number destined to grow dramatically.
"It has to stop. This is no natural disaster. This is a man-made crisis," Egeland said during a news conference at the Larnaca airport.
Israel's offensive against Lebanon began after the July 12 capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah guerrillas.
Egeland is scheduled to leave for Beirut on Sunday, and is to meet with Israeli officials on Tuesday.
He has called on Israel to guarantee safe passage for humanitarian goods into northern Lebanon by road; into the ports of Beirut, Tripoli and Tyre for sea cargo; and into Beirut airport for air shipments.