The recent conflict in Lebanon and in Israel, which began in July 2006 and lasted for more than a month led to nearly one million Lebanese – over to a quarter of the total population – fleeing their homes. This massive human displacement and destruction or severe damage of approximately 30, 000 housing units clearly had a very deep impact on the civilian population. Within hours of the ceasefire on 14 August, large numbers began returning home—a measure of the resilience of the Lebanese people but also representing a huge challenge for the aid workers trying to deal with the flood of returnees. Removal of the huge amount of rubble generated by the conflict represented a further challenge but one that got underway surprisingly quickly and, aspart of the reconstruction work, is on-going. One of the most high profile issues of the conflict was the bombing of the Jiyeh power plant which resulted in the spillage of thousands of tones of oil into the Mediterranean Sea. On 5 August, the Minister of Environment of the Lebanon formally requested UNEP to conduct a post-conflict environmental assessment of his country.Thescope of UNEP’s assessment work was geographically limited to Lebanon.
The findings are presented in this report. Coastal communities have been severely affected by the oil pollution washed onto their shores. During and in the immediate aftermath of the conflict, the international community (including governments and regional organizations) and the Lebanese government worked tirelessly alongside local civil society organizations in a massive effort to contain the oil spill and implement clean-up measures along the Lebanese coast.