We have offered Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) the use of the Rainbow Warrior for transporting much-needed supplies to Lebanon. The vessel was already in the Mediterranean and has now docked in Larnaca, Cyprus for loading medical supplies.
The Rainbow Warrior will help MSF deliver vital medical supplies to Lebanon.
"We understood that there were major difficulties for
humanitarianorganisations such as MSF in getting bulk supplies
quickly from Cyprusto Beirut," says Bruno Rebelle, programme
director of GreenpeaceInternational. "We are very happy that we can
contribute to a temporarysolution to these problems as we are, like
everyone else, deeplyconcerned about the consequences of the
fighting in the Middle-East forthe civilian population."
MSF currently has almost 100 tonnes of medical materials and
otherrelief supplies waiting for transport in a warehouse in
Larnaca, withanother 80 tonnes scheduled to arrive there soon.
Though some of thesupplies get through to Beirut, the bulk of them
are stuck in theabsence of sufficient transport capacity. Very few
boats are availablefor sailing to Lebanon as there is little
guarantee for safe passage.
"We have two major transportation problems," says Jerome
Oberreit,operational director for MSF in Brussels. "To date it has
been verydifficult to move large volumes of relief goods from
Beirut to southernLebanon by road. We rely on cars which we stack
with boxes to drivealong the severely damaged and insecure road to
Tyre; trucks have beenhit by missiles so truck drivers are
reluctant to move into thesouthern region. On top of that, we have
major problems in getting ourmaterials to Beirut quickly enough. In
the short term, the offer fromGreenpeace means a partial solution
of one of our two problems."
The Rainbow Warrior has capacity for transporting 40 tonnes,
equivalentto 105 pallets. It is not clear yet how many rotations
the vessel willmake for MSF.
Medecins Sans Frontieres has
around30 international staff working in areas in Lebanon that are
severelyaffected by the conflict. The emphasis in MSF's activities
is onsupporting Lebanese health workers, setting up additional
health postsand mobile clinics where necessary, and distributing
basic materials(shelter, hygiene kits, cooking utensils, baby
powder milk) todisplaced families.
For further information please contact:Mike Townsley, Greenpeace
International Communications, +31 6 21296918, Amsterdam,
mike.townsley[at]int.greenpeace.org Erwin van 't Land, Médecins
Sans Frontières (MSF), Brussels, +32 2 474 7488 or +32 475 661