With a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Lebanon recently, UNIFIL peacekeepers have ramped up support to the host communities in Southern Lebanon in their fight against the virus.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, UNIFIL peacekeepers have offered various types of support to local communities as they strived to prevent the spread of the virus.

UNIFIL peacekeepers from Ghana, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Nepal and Spain have offered a wide range of support to deal with the ongoing health emergency affecting the communities within their areas of responsibility.

The support, targeted at boosting local capabilities, covered three of four main districts within the UNIFIL mission’s 1,060 square-kilometre area of operations – Tyre, Bint Jbeil and Marjayoun. These districts host several hospitals – important referral centres for the management of COVID-19 cases. These areas have been particularly hard-hit by the virus.

Most of the donations consisted of much-needed medical consumables, such as masks, PPE and suits, sanitary liquid, thermometers, and foot-operated sanitiser dispensers. In addition, Italy also donated three innovative laryngoscopy video systems, capable of viewing clear and real-time images of a patient’s airways, to the public hospitals of Bint Jbeil and Tibnin and to the municipality of Tyre. These will help frontline medical staff diagnose and treat serious cases more quickly.

Likewise, Korean peacekeepers also donated multivitamins, which are in short supply in Lebanon, to schoolchildren. They also donated generator sets to the Lebanese Armed Forces, UNIFIL’s strategic partners, to enhance their emergency response capacity.

Peacekeepers have adhered to strict precautionary measures at all times while carrying out mandated activities as well as those supporting the fight against COVID-19.