you agree to this use. Find out more.
1 year after the devastating explosion in Beirut
Emergency aid has evolved towards long-term support with the goal of sustaining victims in their everyday life. Various partner organisations are still active in Lebanon's capital to support people in returning to their daily routine. Click here to see how affected people continue to benefit from your donations and support.
On 4 August 2020, a devastating explosion struck the Lebanese capital, damaging and destroying buildings and infrastructures within a radius of several kilometres. Over 200 people died, more than 6,000 people were injured and around 300,000 people lost their homes. In the aftermath, we called for donations to support the Lebanese people in dealing with this catastrophic emergency.
Even one year after the disaster, the needs of the people in Beirut remain considerable. Indeed, the explosion occurred during an exceedingly difficult time for Lebanon: since the coronavirus pandemic hit local populations in a hard way the situation had been rapidly degrading. Furthermore, even previous to the explosion, due to high levels of inflation which had begun in 2019, the population was struggling with a general economic, financial, and social crisis. For many their entire savings had already dissolved. Presently, according to the UN, around 55% of the population lives below the poverty line. In addition, there are about 1.5 million refugees living in Lebanon – out of a population of almost 7 million people. With an estimated 90% of them also living below the poverty line. These problematics have built up and led to further tensions in Beirut between the different ethnic groups.
Different aid for different stages
Immediately after the explosion in Beirut’s harbour, five of our partner organisations began providing emergency aid: they distributed food, water and other essential goods, cared for injured people and carried out urgent repairs to badly damaged houses.
Following this first stage, our partner organisations evolved towards more sustainable aid such as supporting the rehabilitation of houses, the reconstruction of livelihoods, assuring food security, protection and education. Since then, assistance has been extended to households, families and individuals who are in a vulnerable situation not only due to the explosion but also because of the combination of different crises currently occurring in Lebanon.
For all those families whose homes were blown up by the explosion, repairing the damage was the priority to regain safety in their homes. A year later, the economic crisis is bringing the population to its knees. That is why according to a rigorous selection process we are allocating our latest funds to the distribution of vital resources, allowing those most in need to survive.
Tasha Rumley, Swiss Solidarity Programme Officer
Save the Children Psychological support for children
Many children in Beirut were traumatized by the force of the explosion. When necessary and in order to support younger victims, Swiss Solidarity finances aid that helps children find their way back to everyday life. Thanks to your donations, our partner organization Save the Children is committed to helping traumatized children overcome the psychological after-effects of this explosion. They listen to them, give them space to express their feelings, tools to overcome trauma and ultimately find their way back to a more carefree everyday life.
After the explosion, many houses and flats had no doors or windows. Families also lacked items needed for daily survival. Thanks to your donation, Medair, our partner relief agency was able to distribute kits, materials and repairs to improve the living conditions of numerous homes.
Swiss Red Cross Cash assistance in various areas
Our partner organisation, the Swiss Red Cross, supports families in Beirut whose homes have been severely damaged by the explosion or who are particularly vulnerable because of specific circumstances such as chronic illness or the absence of a parent. The cash aid enables those affected to meet their most urgent needs on an individual basis and buy essential goods such as food, medicine or construction materials to repair their homes.
Your donation makes a difference. Thank you for your support!