EU Foreign Ministers must call for an immediate ceasefire in the run up to an expected UN Security Council resolution

Published: 31 July 2006

Brussels: Oxfam called on EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels tomorrow to agree to an unambiguous call for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East in the run up to this week’s expected UN Security Council resolution.

“We are now three weeks into a bloody conflict where the majority of its victims are civilians. Hundreds have died, nearly a million people have fled their homes and levels of destruction of civilian infrastructure are catastrophic. The bloodshed has to stop,” said Luis Morago, head of Oxfam International EU office in Brussels.
“The EU needs to help end this madness and put its full diplomatic weight behind the calls for an immediate ceasefire. Ministers should resist any attempt to water down a robust EU call for an immediate ceasefire,” said Morago.

More than 600 people have been killed in Lebanon, and more than 50 Israelis. The UN estimates that some 700,000 people have been displaced with 125,000 living in schools and public institutions in Lebanon. Some 210,000 have fled to neighboring countries according to the World Health Organization. UNHCR in Syria estimates 150,000 Lebanese and third-country nationals have crossed into Syria, with approximately 5,000-10,000 newcomers each day. In northern Israel 300,000 have fled their homes according to Israeli officials quoted in the New York Times.

Oxfam is delivering humanitarian aid in Lebanon through existing partner organizations. An Oxfam seven person Rapid Response Team is in Beirut assessing where Oxfam can further respond to the crisis and supporting Oxfam’s partners on the distribution of vital relief.

Oxfam also said the international community should not to lose sight of the humanitarian crisis and continued killing of civilians in Gaza. Over one million Palestinians are facing major disruptions to the most fundamental services including clean drinking water, sewerage and access to health care.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:
Shaista Aziz in Beirut on +961 709 713 64 or
Louis Belanger in Brussels +32 4 73 562 260