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Beirut: Emergency Relief and Recovery

On 4 August 2020, a horrific explosion rocked the Port of Beirut with a force equal to a 3.5-magnitude earthquake.
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The massive explosion that ripped Beirut apart in August 2020 created significant immediate and long-term humanitarian needs. We’re supporting Medair to deliver emergency assistance to those impacted and displaced by the disaster – in particular to meet their shelter and health needs – and to assist in the rehabilitation of damaged buildings and public facilities. Medair’s teams will also work to provide mental health support to the most vulnerable groups.
 

1601984170649239 rs154356 leb000 hiba hajj omar mech photo 8 6 20 1 46 48 pm1601984179555413 rs154370 leb000 hiba hajj omar mech the rubble that once was a house. karantina beirut 6 august 2020.
1601984192774418 rs154371 lbn hiba hajj omar mech2020 a man stands at the balcony of his sister s damaged home after the beirut port blast on 4 august. 10 august 20201601984205345857 rs154463 lbn hiba hajj omar mech2020 beirut response img 7296

On 4 August 2020, a horrific explosion rocked the Port of Beirut with a force equal to a 3.5-magnitude earthquake. Homes collapsed, high rise buildings were reduced to hollow frames and the streets for miles around were strewn with rubble. The blasts resulted in massive human loss, with more than 190 people killed, 6,500 injured and around 300,000 left homeless. Three major hospitals and more than one-hundred schools and health dispensaries were severely damaged.

Beirut Port is expected to be inoperable or only partially functional for months, and this will have a significant impact on the availability of construction materials to rebuild what was destroyed, as well as on the country as a whole, with 85% of food being imported. The explosion was a major blow to populations that were already struggling to survive multiple compounded crises: a refugee crisis of more than one million Syrians fleeing the war, an economic and financial collapse caused by extremely high indebtedness that precipitated a severe liquidity crisis, a deep-rooted socio-political crisis that led to the resignation of two governments in less than six months, and the global COVID-19 pandemic which has seen cases soaring in recent weeks.

1601984042529872 rs154353 leb000 hiba hajj omar mech photo 8 6 20 1 11 42 pm1601984042560137 rs154369 leb000 hiba hajj omar mech the port of beirut after the blast. karantina beirut 6 august 2020.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

A Swiss humanitarian NGO, Medair has been active in Lebanon since 2012, working primarily to provide shelter materials, household supplies, medical care and mental health support to the most vulnerable populations. Since early 2013, the organisation has led the Geographic Information System mapping of informal settlements across the country – often rural and hard-to-reach areas that have no official boundaries or addresses – providing a vital coordination tool for humanitarian actors to respond promptly.

After the devastating port explosion that ripped the city apart, Medair stepped up its relief work.

We’re supporting the organization’s recovery efforts to ensure that essential shelter supplies and health care services reach those directly impacted by the explosion. Over the next few months, building on its shelter expertise and in close coordination with the other humanitarian actors and the constantly evolving needs, Medair will rehabilitate damaged residential buildings and public facilities.

The explosions caused considerable trauma for thousands of people. Vulnerable populations, including women, children and the elderly, are among the most affected. Medair will also provide essential mental health support to those in need.

 

1601984149294558 rs154384 lbn hiba hajj omar mech2020 medair team distributing sealing off kits to affected families in beirut beirut blast emergency responseimg 69971601984149366238 rs154386 lbn hiba hajj omar mech2020 medair team distributing sealing off kits to affected families in beirut beirut blast emergency responseimg 7000
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1601984253660983 rs154453 lbn jaafar hamdan mech2020 medair distribution team during the beirut response img 03931601984253699159 rs154478 lbn hiba hajj omar mech2020 beirut response  img 7455

“We were deeply saddened by the recent events in Beirut and have been exploring different options to help the Lebanese people. This partnership with Medair will support to deliver emergency assistance to estimable 11,000 people impacted by the disaster. These measures build on Cartier’s longstanding commitment to help the most vulnerable, restore their dignity, reduce their vulnerability and enhance their resilience, through Cartier Philanthropy, the Maison’s grant-making foundation established in 2012.”

- Christophe Massoni - The Chief Executive Officer of Cartier in the Middle East, India and Africa.

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