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International Aid Arrives in Tyre and Beirut


A United Nations truck convoy carrying food and medical supplies has arrived in the southern Lebanese town of Tyre. And three Jordanian planes carrying a field hospital and medicines have landed at Beirut airport.

The Jordanian planes were the first to land since Israeli air strikes hit the airfield two weeks ago.

Wednesday's flights from Amman were organized after Israel said it would allow planes carrying humanitarian aid to land at the airport. Israel also opened a ground corridor from Beirut to southern Lebanon along the Mediterranean coast for aid traveling by road.

The 10-truck U.N. convoy brought 90 tons of food and medical supplies to an area heavily bombed by Israel. Thousands of Lebanese have fled north from the area, but thousands more remain trapped or injured and short of food. The food supplies will be able to feed 22,000 people for a week.

The World Food Program, which organized the truck convoy, says it has more aid but needs to make sure Israel will guarantee safe passage.

The U.N. refugee agency reports it has a convoy in Syria waiting to travel to Lebanon once Israel promises safe passage.

In Rome, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan addressed Wednesday's international conference on Lebanon, saying a donor framework should be established in order to secure funding for reconstruction and development.

Saudi Arabia announced humanitarian aid to Lebanon Tuesday totaling $1.5 billion. The United States pledged $30 million to help victims of the conflict, and Britain contributed four million dollars.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.
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