Exactly one month ago, on August 4th, a massive blast stuck Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, resulting in163 deaths, 6,000 injuries and leaving 300,000 people homeless.
In a country that was already suffering from the burden of an economic crisis, a refugee crisis and COVID-19, the explosion was destructive for the Lebanese on a physical, emotional and financial level.
Every Lebanese lost something that day. The loss is too significant to be put into words, and the destruction is beyond imaginable.
The streets are starting to look clean, thanks to the courageous youth who ran to the rescue, sweeping the streets day and night trying to save what is left of their beloved city. Wounds are beginning to heal. However, the Lebanese are still suffering daily from the consequences and the weight of the explosion on their lives. Hans Bederski, World Vision Lebanon’s National Office Director, elaborates, “A month on from the Beirut Port explosion, residents collected and removed the rubble and debris while civil society and aid agencies are providing the essential humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable population in the affected areas. With winter approaching soon and the financial crisis rendering building materials out of reach for many, an immediate priority now is to assist lower-income households with the repair of their damaged housing. All this in the midst of exponential increase of COVID-19 infections rates.”
World Vision Lebanon started an immediate response to the explosion by conducting door-to-door assessments, distributing food parcels, hygiene kits, and disinfecting kits while raising awareness about COVID-19 and reminding people that the pandemic is not over yet.
To date, World Vision Lebanon distributed 669 food parcels, 594 hygiene kits and 112 disinfecting kits. Our efforts have reached around 5,000 people with assistance given the contextual challenges.
Rima Ghanem, Beirut project coordinator explains more about what World Vision is doing for the people of Beirut, “During our field site visits, we identified different actors on the field and coordinated together to reach the impacted people and managed to unify the rapid needs assessment as the short response. Thus, we highlighted the people in need of hygiene, basic assistance, psychosocial support, psychological first aid, medical assistance for children and adults and shelter needs as well as exploring cash assistance with other actors in the sector, so that our support responds to all the needs. Distributions range from food parcels, hygiene and disinfection kits to blankets, and we are in the process of assessing shelters.”
World Vision Lebanon will keep supporting the needs of the most vulnerable children and their families that have been and continue to be affected by the explosion in Beirut through ongoing distributions of basic assistance, psychosocial support and assistance for housing repairs.