As death toll in Lebanon mounts UNs top relief chief heads to

Jan Egeland is expected to meet with senior members of the Lebanese Government and with the newly-established High Relief Council, as well as with the UN country team and other United Nations representatives, including the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.“During his visit, he expects to survey sites that have been identified as part of the proposed humanitarian corridors for the international relief effort in Lebanon and other areas that have been affected by the conflict,” OCHA said.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 350 Lebanese have been killed and more than 1,000 injured. An estimated 34 Israelis have been killed and 200 wounded. WHO also estimates some 600,000 displaced people in Lebanon.Bombardment by the Israeli Defence Force has caused widespread damage to bridges and roads, hospitals, schools, residential housing, electricity plants, airports and seaports, especially in southern Lebanon, and OCHA warned that fuel shortages are looming. Three main hospitals in southern suburbs of Beirut were not operating today, WHO said.Civilians in parts of southern Lebanon are cut off due to the damage, and the UN has been unable to move relief supplies into and within southern Lebanon due to the destruction and security concerns, OCHA said.The UN will launch a Flash Appeal for humanitarian assistance in New York and Beirut on Monday.The UN High Commissioner for Refugees is monitoring countries surrounding Lebanon for refugee outflows and assessing needs in-country of those displaced, while stockpiling goods in Jordon and Syria. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has started using tankers to supply clean drinking water to public buildings housing internally displaced persons (IDPs). The agency is also providing water purification systems, soap and oral rehydration salts with plans to send two planes of relief items to Beirut over the weekend.The UN World Food Programme (WFP) estimates sufficient food supplies in Lebanon for up to three months, but has concerns about disruptions to food supply chains, as well as safety of relief convoys. Emergency staff from WHO are undertaking health assessments and monitoring health threats. Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are delivering lifesaving assistance to populations with critical needs in Lebanon.Mr. Egeland, during an official tour that runs through Thursday, will travel to Israel after launching the Flash Appeal on Monday. He is expected to meet with senior members of the Israeli Government and representatives of the Israeli Defence Forces, as well as with the UN country team.From there, he intends to undertake a visit to the Gaza Strip, where he will meet with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and others involved in humanitarian relief. read more

Womens swimming Undefeated Ohio State travels to face conference foes in Ann

After their successful victory over the Spartans last Friday, the Ohio State women’s swimming team is anxious to take their talents back up north to try their luck against Michigan.During their trip to Ann Arbor, the Buckeyes are looking to remain undefeated in dual meets, but their focus specifically appears to be on improvement and progression both individually and as a team, rather than the outcome of the competition.“We’re concentrating on fighting from the beginning, not waiting for it to happen … and knowing that it’s going to be a dogfight from the get-go,” senior Lindsey Clary said.The Buckeyes, as a whole, understand the challenge Michigan presents. Wolverine Siobhan Haughey has the third fastest time this year in the 200 freestyle, behind 2016 Olympians Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky. Michigan’s Gillian Ryan and Yirong Bi rank third and fourth fastest in the 500 freestyle. In order to capture a victory over Michigan, OSU believes that it starts with confidence in the team.“We’ve been working a lot on trusting each other as a team,” senior Taylor Vargo said. “It’s about going out and knowing that you’re going to give your team the best chance, or the best swim you can give that day.”Clary and Vargo have had their fair share of meets against Michigan, and said they’re looking forward to competing against their rivals in one final dual meet. What they are more excited for, however, is for the freshman to finally get a taste of this level of competition.“The freshmen have never swam (against) this team. I’m sure they have seen stuff about the rivalry, but they haven’t been there, they haven’t been at that meet to see what it’s like,” Clary said. “We’re ready to go, we know what it’s like. We’re anxious. We want to race them, but we’re also trying to show the freshmen what to expect and not to be nervous, but to have fun.”Though they are anxious to compete against their rivals, it should be exciting to see the matchups between the Wolverines’ top swimmers and the Buckeyes’ top swimmers, Vargo said.“We’re going to give it our all and hopefully the freshmen have a ton of fun and see what the rivalry is all about,” Clary said.The competition is set for Friday at 6:00 p.m. in Ann Arbor. read more