Emergency Response in Beirut, Lebanon

by International Rescue Committee
Emergency Response in Beirut, Lebanon
Emergency Response in Beirut, Lebanon
Emergency Response in Beirut, Lebanon
Emergency Response in Beirut, Lebanon
IRC supported Assad with necessary home repairs
IRC supported Assad with necessary home repairs

Assad*, 59, grew up in Karantina, one of the neighborhoods devastated by the August 2020 explosion in the port of Beirut, Lebanon. Before the blast, he ran a small grocery store and sold second-hand items that he collected and stored in his apartment above the shop.

Assad and his family were visiting his brother when the explosion occurred. It took him an hour to drive back to Karantina through the chaos and destruction, the smoke and shattered glass. When he reached his neighborhood, he could hardly recognize the building where his home had been—the home his late father had built. He climbed the stairs to his apartment on the third floor. The windows and doors were gone. Dirt and dust covered the furniture. All his belongings were destroyed, including his stored goods. In an instant, both his home and his livelihood were taken from him.

“What we witnessed during the blast was even worse than the civil war that lasted for 20 years,” said Assad. “During the war, our home was located on the front lines, and once, my brother lost his leg in an explosion, but we never suffered as we are now.”

Although Assad received initial support from local organizations to begin to repair the apartment and replace appliances, his fixes were temporary and the family required further assistance.

The International Rescue Committee’s team in Lebanon met with him after the explosion and was able to provide that assistance. In addition to emergency cash, the IRC also provided support with rebuilding his business.

“I will never leave my country, I will rebuild my home and stay,” vowed Assad. “Nothing will push me out from the neighborhood that holds my childhood memories. This home is the fruit of my father’s hard work and sacrifices for us…. This is life, sometimes we have to go through hard times.”

Thanks to support from you and other IRC donors, the IRC was able to respond in Beirut and prioritize the needs of people like Assad who suffered property damage or the destruction of their livelihoods. We have prioritized families and individuals in blast-affected areas with limited resources, including persons with disabilities (both new and preexisting), older persons without support networks, female-headed households, and people who have suffered physical injuries and/or severe psychological distress.

Learn more about the IRC’s work in Lebanon.

*Last name omitted to protect privacy

Assad suffered severe property damage.
Assad suffered severe property damage.
Your support helped Assad repair his grocery store
Your support helped Assad repair his grocery store

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Providing psychosocial support for children
Providing psychosocial support for children

The explosion in Beirut, Lebanon on August 4th, 2020 – which killed over 160 people and wounded 5,000 – has left an additional 300,000 people displaced. This crisis comes on top of an already looming threat of economic collapse, and threat of increasing scarcity of food connected to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The International Rescue Committee is providing emergency cash and protection assistance - including psychological first aid - to those impacted and displaced by the blast. We are prioritizing children, families and individuals who were residing in blast-affected areas; suffered high levels of property damage or destruction of immediate livelihoods; and individuals and families with limited resources to cope with the effects of the damage to property and wellbeing. This includes persons with disabilities (both new and pre-existing), older persons without support networks, female-headed households, and families who have suffered physical injuries and/or severe psychological distress.

In the hospitals, we have been providing children with psychological support as they wait for news of their loved ones, and now - with their caregivers well enough to be discharged - we have been providing emergency cash assistance to help them get back on their feet. In some cases, they and their families have been unable to return home due to the damage, so our cash assistance has been ensuring that they have somewhere safe to stay and are able to buy food and other basic necessities.

Our child protection tent has been providing a safe space for children in Karantina - one of the areas closest to the site of the explosion - to play and receive psychosocial support from dedicated case workers deployed from our programmes across Lebanon. This is a mobile tent and is being deployed where the need is determined to be the greatest.

Your gift will allow families to meet their immediate needs in the aftermath of this terrible incident and support them to get back on their feet.

Please donate now to directly assist the people of Beirut.

A mechanic lost everything; received a cash grant
A mechanic lost everything; received a cash grant
Cash grant recipient bakes bread for income
Cash grant recipient bakes bread for income

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Organization Information

International Rescue Committee

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @RESCUEorg
Project Leader:
Alix Samuel
New York, NY United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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