Through the ICMPD Contingency Planning for Border Emergencies support activities in Lebanon, a first meeting was held to establish a Health & Safety (H&S) Committee for the Masna’a border crossing point (BCP). The Committee will be made up of representatives of General Security (GS), Lebanese Customs Administration (LCA) and Lebanese Civil Defense (LCD). The Committee will work on the development of H&S at the BCPs, an important change towards providing a safer environment for all users – travelers, staff and private sector. First aid, trauma and firefighting equipment, procured by ICMPD with funding from the European Union will be installed with appropriate training given to key members of staff.
ICMPD and LCD then visited the town of Cheba’a on the South East border. They met with regional and station LCD Commanders to consider the significant issues the crews are faced with. Despite treacherous conditions, persons attempt the crossing from Syria over the green (land) border into Lebanon. Sadly over the last 5 years the loss of life has been significant despite the
brave search and rescue (SAR) missions launched by LCD and Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) teams. Specialist SAR and personal protective equipment is urgently needed to support the crews.
SAR capability development on the eastern green border was also the subject of recent ICMPD support and activities. Following an initial scoping day held at the Central Training Centre (CTC) in Riyaq, a two day workshop was undertaken to determine the way forward. Attendees from the Higher Defence Counsel, Border Control Committee, Lebanese Armed Forces, CTC, Internal Security Forces, LCD and LRC recognised the need for a well-coordinated and joint way of working and training. The drafting of essential guidance and subsequent training will ensure safer, effective and efficient conclusions of these incidents in the future.