07 August, 2006
Greece was the first country to involve itself in the transport to Europe of people from the war-torn areas of Lebanon, and the first country to dispatch two significant cargoes of humanitarian assistance to the affected area, a gesture recognized by Lebanon, international organizations and the European Union. This demonstrates once more, following the aid given to the tsounami victims and Pakistan, Greece’s leading international role in dealing with issues of humanitarian and developmental aid.
The Greek Μinistry of Foreign Affairs, through its Agency for International Development Cooperation (Hellenic AID), responded immediately to Lebanon’s official request for humanitarian aid submitted to the European Union on July 19, 2006.
22.5 tons of humanitarian aid from Greece for the suffering people of Lebanon arrived in Beirut. Organized by Hellenic AID, this first installment of assistance, consisting of medicines, foodstuffs, tents and blankets, was transported to Larnaca, Cyprus, by two C-13 planes of the Greek Air Force, and then loaded onto the Greek Navy tank landing craft “IKARIA”. Thus, the Greek ship became the first vessel to reach the port of Beirut with the delivery of humanitarian aid.
On Saturday, July 22, again coordinated by Hellenic AID, a second Greek Navy tank landing craft “RHODES” arrived at the Beirut port, transporting 14 tons of humanitarian aid, offered by Greece to the Lebanese people. It was transported from the Eleusis Airport to Larnaca on July 21 aboard a third C-130 aircraft of the Greek Air Force.
This second installment of humanitarian aid contained:
• medicine (more than 23,000 doses of antibiotics)
• 500 blankets
• 100 six-person tents
• 3 tons of Cypriot humanitarian aid, offered by the Cyprus Ministry of Health and the Cyprus branch of “Doctors of the World”.
Currently, Greek humanitarian aid to Lebanon is estimated to a total of 1,16 million euros.
, the fourth C-130 aircraft of the Greek Air Force, again under the coordination of Hellenic AID, departed from the Eleusis airport for Larnaca, transporting 13.5 tons of humanitarian aid, including 500 blankets, tents and foodstuffs, donated by the Hellenic Armed Forces and the Greek Red Cross.
, pursuant to the Lebanese Government’s request to the European Union, the fifth C-130 aircraft of the Greek Air Force, departed the Eleusis airport for Larnaca, transporting 10.5 tons of aid to Lebanon, collected by the Greek Ministries of Health and Defense. It included tents and medicines (antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, tranquilizers and disposable medical supplies).
, the sixth C-130 aircraft of the Greek Air Force departed, transporting 10 tons of humanitarian aid, medicine, foodstuffs and water, collected by the NGO “Solidarity” and the Greek Red Cross.
The aforementioned aid, as well as that transported to Cyprus with the fourth and fifth airplanes, is being dispatched to Beirut on the Greek Navy tank landing craft “RHODES”. This same vessel received a request from the United Nations Coordinating Agency for Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).
, the Greek Navy tank landing craft “CHIOS” departed for Larnaca and then for Beirut, transporting a small cargo of humanitarian aid collected by the NGO “Greek Rescue Team”.
At the same time, Greece, in collaboration with the Republic of Cyprus, offered to their fellow EU member-states and other international organizations free transport of their humanitarian aid from Larnaca to Lebanon on Greek Navy ships, and the Greek Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense have already set up the necessary coordinating unit.
Greece contributed the sum of 120,000 euros to the International Migration Organization for the transfer of marooned foreign citizens from Lebanon to their homes, and for humanitarian aid to displaced persons within Lebanon, implemented by the IMO.
The collection of humanitarian aid was initiated, organized and executed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its agency, Hellenic AID, in cooperation with the Greek Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Defense, the General Secretariat for Civil Protection, the City of Athens, and by specialized humanitarian organizations, such as the Red Cross, the IOCC, Doctors of the World and Doctors of the Heart, Solidarity, Pharmacists of the World, the Greek Rescue Team, etc. The Hellenic AID is in constant touch with these and other institutions, informing them of Lebanese requests and arranging, in conformity with the practice used in the dispatch of humanitarian aid, for the collection of pharmaceutical and other quality-controlled items, in accordance with the relevant lists supplied by the Lebanese authorities.
Furthermore, Hellenic AID is in constant communication with the citizens involved, and is conducting a fundraising campaign on behalf of the suffering Lebanese people, through the National Bank of Greece, the Commercial Bank, ALPHA Bank and Agricultural Bank.
Source: Press Office of the Embassy of Greece