In the early evening hours of August 2, 2020, the city of Beirut was rocked by an enormous explosion. A warehouse in the port, storing ammonium nitrate without proper safety measures in place, detonated and caused significant damage to the city. Blocks of an apartment building, stores, the silos that store grain for the Lebanese people, and more were obliterated. On a human scale, around 200 people lost their lives, with thousands injured and hundreds of thousands left homeless. Destruction on such a massive scale requires an immense amount of international aid, as it is too much for local authorities to deal with on their own. Fortunately, many aid organizations are stepping up and providing ways for the international community to help Beirut following the explosion.
The blast was exceedingly powerful and was felt as far away as Cyprus and Turkey. Unfortunately, a blast of that size left many injured. Medical aid groups currently assisting include the Lebanese Red Cross, which is providing ambulance services in Beirut. Project HOPE is delivering medical gear and protective supplies to the city. The International Medical Corps is a humanitarian organization that provides health services to Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese citizens; they will deploy medical units and deliver mental health care to those in need. UNICEF has a team in place providing therapy to traumatized children. They are also providing clean drinking water for rescue workers, as well as needed medical supplies and vaccines.
With so many people who have lost everything, other groups are providing additional humanitarian assistance. Baytna Baytak, a local Lebanese charity, is raising funds for those displaced by the blast. Impact Lebanon is helping other organizations that are actively on the ground in Beirut, as well as helping to share information about those still missing. Islamic Relief is putting a supply chain in place to provide emergency aid; they specialize in food aid and emergency response. The UN’s World Food Program is delivering food to people displaced and/or made homeless by the blast. Humanity and Inclusion, an NGO, has psychologists and social workers helping people process the trauma.
All the organizations mentioned are currently accepting donations to help Beirut recover and heal from its terrible trauma. Any donation, big or small, can help improve lives for the better.