UN and partners launch $565 mn appeal for blast-hit Lebanon

at 1:53 pm
Community supports clean up the aftermath of the explosion in area of Beirut (Source: @UNOCHA)

New Delhi (NVI): The United Nations launched an appeal to raise USD 565 million fund to help Lebanese people affected by the explosion at Beirut’s port that killed over 180 people.

The UN in a statement said that the funds would be used to support Lebanon people as it moves from immediate life-saving humanitarian relief towards rebuilding its shattered economy.

Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman said the money will enable the UN’s humanitarian partners to help people in need by targeting food security, health, shelter and protection, as well as water and sanitation hygiene support.

Nearly 180 people were killed and more than 6,000 injured in the blasts, which destroyed most of Beirut’s port and surrounding neighbourhood, leaving thousands homeless.

The explosion damaged almost six hospitals, 20 health clinics and 120 schools, according to the UN humanitarian office, OCHA.

The disaster stuck as Lebanon confronts several other crises, including economic contraction, rising poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic. Both citizens and the country’s large refugee population, have been affected, the UN said.

The UN humanitarian office also said that the appeal will target:

1.Immediate delivery of hot meals, food rations and grain supplies.

2.Rehabilitation of damaged health facilities and provision of trauma kits and essential medicines.

3.Cash for shelter for families whose homes were damaged or destroyed and for repairs of common building areas and facilities affected by the blast.

4. Repair of schools and provision of educational supplies and psychological support for children.

“The task of rebuilding people’s lives and recovering from the devastation is only just beginning,” said Najat Rochdi, Lebanon’s UN humanitarian coordinator.

“I urge the international community to demonstrate their steadfast commitment to the people of Lebanon and repay in turn Lebanon’s incredible generosity to Syrian and Palestine refugees with full financial support for this appeal,” she added.

Meanwhile, the appeal seeks funds for costs of the first two phases of what will be a three-phase response — immediate humanitarian needs and the start of recovery and reconstruction, which will cost billions of dollars and require a mix of public and private finance, the UN said.

The third phase, however, will be a response to Lebanon’s socio-economic crisis before the Beirut explosion, which has been worsen by the COVID-19 pandemic.