Recovery and resilience in Lebanon one year after the Beirut blast

05 Aug 21
Destruction in Beirut blast aftermath (1)
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Destruction in Beirut blast aftermath. Photo credit: Caritas Lebanon.

A year ago, a tragic explosion in Beirut killed over 200 people, injured more than 7,500 and left about 300,000 homeless. The blast occurred at a time when the Lebanese economy was in freefall and COVID-19 was sweeping across the nation.

 

In the days following the August 4th 2020 explosion, Caritas Lebanon’s youth volunteers leapt into action, along with a network of Caritas field staff. Thanks to your generosity, the Caritas network was able to immediately deliver:

Emergency food

20,000 hot meals and 400 food kits distributed to people in need

Medical support

194 first aid kits

Recovery assistance

700 youth volunteers helped in the clean-up over 200 houses

The Beirut blast came at the worst possible time for Lebanon. The country was already grappling with political turmoil, economic ruin, the challenges of hosting over a million refugees from Syria and the Palestinian territories, and the COVID-19 pandemic - the blast brought another hurdle to communities that were already struggling.

Suzy McIntyre, Caritas Australia’s Program Coordinator for Global Programs & Partnerships

Rubble and damage from the Beirut blast
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Rubble and damage from the Beirut blast. Photo credit: Caritas Lebanon.

"It’s also tough for the country to rebuild when the economic situation is so poor. The country is deeply in debt, which means that everyday people find it nearly impossible to pay for basic goods, and there are long queues to withdraw money from ATMs, or to buy fuel, food and medicine," says Suzy.

"To have the destruction from the blast on top of all that is a massive challenge - although certainly a challenge that many volunteers have met wholeheartedly over the past year."

The country was already dealing with hyperinflation and shortages of money and basic commodities. The Lebanese health system is cracking under a myriad of pressures, with shortages of medicines, medical supplies and staff. The situation in Lebanon has become increasingly critical as more and more people slip into poverty and hunger.

With your help, Caritas Australia is supporting Caritas Lebanon to provide assistance to people affected by the long-term effects on the blast.