On August 4, 2020, a massive explosion occurred at the Beirut seaport, resulting in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and widespread damage to buildings. Numbers are continuing to rise for those affected, as the already over-stretched medical system attempts to meet the demand.
Prior to the August 4th explosion, Lebanon was undergoing the worst economic crisis in the nation’s history and massive famine. According to the UN, almost half of the country is living below the poverty line. In cities such as Tripoli, the poorest in the country, 60% of the population has an income of only $1 per day.
In addition to the economic crisis that has crippled the country these last few months, the recent spread of COVID-19 has overwhelmed Lebanon which now finds itself in the middle of a humanitarian disaster.
Lebanon already embraces more than two million Syrian and Palestinian refugees and is facing a great shortage of international assistance.
Along with the devastating loss of life and extensive wreckage to the city due to the explosion, the seaport is now destroyed and will be unable to provide Lebanese people with access to food, medical aid, and basic necessities.
Lockdowns and social distancing measures make it difficult or impossible for millions worldwide to buy basic food items. According to the UN, the COVID-19 crisis could double global hunger. Providing food packs enables communities to adhere to lockdown measures and prevent a rapid spread of the virus, it additionally allows families to spend the little money they have on other family essentials in times of emergency.
Additionally, electricity is only available 2-3 hours a day on average in most locations across Lebanon. Prior to the explosion, families were losing access to electricity as they could not afford to pay for fuel for their generators. The explosion has only exasperated these needs, in addition to destruction of homes.
Families already were struggling to cover their rent and will now have the burden of fixing their homes as well.
What we're doing:
Penny Appeal USA is on the ground in Lebanon working with local partners such as Medrar and Osman Consulting to supply essentials during this critical time. Receiving food and medical aid from humanitarian organizations is the only way that many are able to survive. Lebanese people fear that poverty will end more lives than COVID-19, which has already ravaged the small nation of six million.
We are in continual contact with our partners on the ground, who have reported the following primary needs:
- Food - lack of basic food items and shortage of funds to purchase
- Health - lack of medical supplies in hospitals
- Shelter - destruction of home; need for funds to repair and cover rent
We're providing food parcels, medical packs, fuel, monthly rent, and a Lebanon emergency pack.
How you can help:
Tragedies of this magnitude can make you feel like there's nothing you can do, but you can help! The humanitarian crisis is at its peak so we must act fast.
Lebanon's need for relief didn't start today, it's been ongoing. Help provide immediate relief to families in Lebanon by bringing your family, friends, and community together for a worthy cause by donating or starting your own fundraiser. If you're unable to donate, you can always share information and spread awareness.
Help save lives now at: PennyAppealUSA.org/Lebanon
Start your own fundraiser at: Launchgood.com/PennyAppealUSA