Beirut- Switzerland plans to reduce its relief activities in Lebanon, after successfully completing aid operations in the region.
But experts warn that cluster bombs could jeopardize the return of refugees to their homes in the south.
The top Swiss foreign ministry aid official says he's very pleased with the result of a humanitarian mission in the wake of last year's conflict in Lebanon.
"We have very concrete, measurable results from these aid programs ? supporting people with cash for repairs, livelihood support and contributing to the reconstruction of water supply systems and schools," said Toni Frisch, who heads the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit.
He was speaking after visiting a number of Lebanese villages that benefited from the Swiss aid, notably a special repatriation and relief program.
"I have seen a positive and constructive spirit of people who want to reorganize themselves and move back to the villages under difficult circumstances. Many families are rebuilding homes, cultivating their land, or looking for a job," Frisch told swissinfo.
Residents of seven villages, including Beni Hayan, Maroun ar Ras, Kaffra, Zebqin and Maarakeh, have received financial support to restart their communities, including cash for farmers and owners of small enterprises.
The water supply system was restored for about 8,000 people and Switzerland sponsored five medical containers to ensure access to treatment.
"The school program has been an important one. For example, more than 60 schools have been rehabilitated benefiting 21,000 children. The schools were occupied by thousands of displaced people during the war," Frisch added.
Frisch said Switzerland was reducing its relief program over the next few weeks, for which the government had allocated an extra $11.5 million (SF14.4 million). But it would continue a number of activities including a contribution to the program for Palestinian refugees and a de-mining campaign in southern Lebanon.
A Swiss expert is working for the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine and the foreign ministry has been financing a documentary film about Palestinian refugees.
Lebanon's national de-mining office told Frisch that over a 100:square:kilometre area in the south there are hundreds of thousands of unexploded devices ? in all more than one million in the south of the country.
It will take them several years to clear them all.
"It is a serious problem, as people cannot work their land, there are cluster bombs in olive trees, children get hurt and handicapped playing on playgrounds," Frisch warned.
Over one million refugees originally fled their homes but 80 per cent have returned to their badly damaged houses in the meantime, according to officials.
Swiss presented the Army with a fully equipped ambulance
The Swiss delegate for humanitarian aid presented the Lebanese Army with a fully equipped ambulance ( L) on Friday as part of the country's aid efforts in the South following last summer's war with Israel. Toni Frisch presented a key to the ambulance to Lebanese Army Colonel Mohammad Fahmi in a ceremony and news conference at Burj al-Ghazal building in Beirut. Fahmi in turn presented the Swiss envoy with a plaque of gratitude.
Talking about the Swiss aid program Frisch said he was "very impressed by all that has been done in the meantime." The Swiss program will continue until at least July, he said, though the term is not fixed.
The people of Lebanon "have shown the energy, the confidence, and important potential necessary for early recovery," Frisch said.
Top picture: Children waiting to be evacuated
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Sources: Swissinfo, Ya Libnan