On August 4th, a massive blast struck a port in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut. There was significant damage to structures, and many lives were lost as a result of the explosion, adding on to the loss of life that Covid has already caused. While the number affected by the explosion isn’t certain yet, at least 135 people are confirmed dead and over 5,000 are wounded. On top of this, hundreds have been reported missing.
It is likely that the COVID cases will increase following the aftermath of the explosion, as personal protective equipment supplies are scarce and there are many more patients in the hospital due to the explosion whom doctors will need PPE to face.
The explosion is thought to have been caused by an estimated 2,750 metric tons of explosive ammonium that was poorly stored at a warehouse near the port after being confiscated from a cargo ship, more than 6 years ago.
This explosion is devastating in an of itself, but to make it even worse, the Port of Beirut was the main port in Lebanon and it was one of the largest and busiest ports on the Eastern Mediterranean, meaning many of the countries supplies - 60% of Lebanon's imports - were coming through it. In the wake of the explosion, the imports are being redirected to smaller ports. The damage is estimated to reach about $15 billion and up to 300,000 people may have lost their homes.
Currently, the Lebanese Red Cross has teams on the ground responding to humanitarian needs, providing aid and transporting the wounded to the hospital. On top of this, they have been setting up triage and first aid stations across the port to help patients with both critical and non-critical needs.
How you can help
The Lebanese Red Cross is an independent organization, not controlled by the government. As it is, they do not have enough funds to respond to 20% of the emergency calls received on a normal basis, seeing as they provide their services at no charge. All money donated through their app or website goes directly to the Red Cross, and 93% of their funds goes towards their humanitarian aid and work. We currently have a mission set dedicated to helping Lebanon through this difficult time; 20% of proceeds from this box will be donated directly to the Lebanese Red Cross. If you’d like, you can also click the link above to donate directly to this organization.
Another great place to donate to is ALPI: American Lebanese Policy Institute. ALPI is a US-based nonprofit humanitarian organization who are providing relief to Lebanon in the form of helping with basic needs including medicine, food, clothing, shelter, education, and more. Before the disaster, ALPI was raising money to deliver monthly boxes of food to families in need in Lebanon. Now, their efforts will turn towards aiding in disaster relief services. 100% of donations to ALPI will be used to provide urgent relief.
Lebanon is going through one of the most difficult times imaginable. No matter how big or small, any donation help make a difference in their recovery.