The explosion in Beirut on 4 August 2020 killed over 135 people, and injured over 5,000 – scores more are still missing. Over 300,000 people are displaced in the Greater Beirut area – many of them children. The cost of damages to buildings and houses are estimated to be over $3 billion USD.
The people of Beirut are in desperate need of help, as authorities have declared Beirut a ‘disaster city.’ Clinics are currently overwhelmed and several hospitals in the city have been partially destroyed. The most vulnerable populations, particularly the refugee communities in Beirut, are of grave concern, especially after experiencing tremendous loss and devastation from years of hardship.
The timing of this crisis is unfathomable. The past year has already been extremely tough on Lebanon, with a political and economic crisis causing unrest, months before COVID-19 became a pandemic. Inflation skyrocketed and high rates of unemployment have devastated the country. Not to mention the added element of a global pandemic, which has compounded the situation.
Through our global network, GAiN UK is partnering with GAiN Canada to bring tangible help to those who are suffering the most in this crisis. GAiN Canada have been involved in Beirut for the past four years, working closely with local partners to bring hope, relief, and demonstrate unconditional love to refugee families in the area.
Through these local connections we can now ensure that much-needed relief and aid is directed to families in the affected communities, both through the local Agapé/CRU office, and through the local churches GAiN Canada is already working with.
Mallouh, pastor of the Church of God in Ashrafieh, near the epicenter of the explosion, shared his experience: “As I sit now in my church office, where all window frames are blown away, I can still hear sirens of ambulances on the Ashrafieh streets. As we drive into Ashrafieh, we keep looking at destruction everywhere. Glass covers the streets. The scene was terrible… An area with a radius of 3 km has been affected by the blast and some buildings were totally damaged and the rest severely damaged. Several members from church have a lot of damage in their apartments, one of whom is my mother’s…While the future looks dark, we have no hope other than putting our trust in our living Lord.”
The people of Beirut now face homelessness, unemployment, food insecurity, possible increased exposure to COVID-19, a lack of available medical treatment, as well as heightened stress and additional trauma.
If you would like to give to help the most vulnerable communities suffering as a result of this devastating situation, please donate below.
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main photo credit: Rony Georgi