UN launches $565 million appeal for Lebanon after Beirut blast

UN launches $565 million appeal for Lebanon after Beirut blast
2 min read
16 August, 2020
A new $565 million UN appeal will assist some 300,000 people in Lebanon impacted by the Beirut blast.
The $565 million appeal targets four areas: food security, health, shelter and education. [Getty]
The United Nations has launched a $565 million appeal to help Lebanon after a massive explosion earlier in the month destroyed large parts of the capital, leaving at least 178 dead and 6,568 injured.

A statement released by the United Nations late on Friday said the money will "help the Lebanese people to move from immediate lifesaving relief towards reconstruction and recovery, including repair of the shattered economy in the longer term."

The explosion on August 4 has left over 300,000 people in Beirut – over 10 percent of the city's population – displaced.

"The scale of the loss from the Beirut explosion is so vast, it is likely every single person in Lebanon has been touched by this terrible event," UN Deputy Special Coordinator for the country, Najat Rochdi, was quoted as saying.

Rochdi urged the international community to support the people of Lebanon.

The UN said it will distribute hot meals to affected families and work to stabilise the national grain supply, after the country's only grain silo was destroyed in the port blast – believed to be a result of some 2,600 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at a warehouse.

The fund will also go towards providing cash for shelter to families displaced from the blast, as well as repairwork where possible, the agency said.

The explosion comes as Lebanon is still reeling from its worst financial crisis in decades while trying to contain a resurgence of coronavirus cases.

Compounding existing crises, the blast severely damaged three hospitals in Beirut, reducing the capacity for patients.

Read also: Beirut Explosion: How bleak is Lebanon's future as city is destroyed, and economy plummets?

The health response branch of the appeal will focus on rehabilitating damaged facilities and providing trauma kits and essential medications.

"The task of rebuilding people's lives and recovering from the devastation is only just beginning," Rochdi said.

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