Statement by Interpal’s Chairman Ibrahim Hewitt
A huge explosion rocked the port in Beirut on the 4th of August, destroying and damaging buildings and infrastructure across a very wide area of the Lebanese capital. At least 100 people were killed in the blast, with thousands more injured. Hospitals which are already struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic have been swamped by the casualties. Officials in Lebanon say that around 300,000 people are now homeless in Beirut as a result of the explosion. “It is,” said one, “a disaster zone.”
The explosion could not have happened at a worse time. Lebanon is experiencing its most serious economic crisis which, coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic, has brought the country to its knees.
The prices of basic necessities are beyond the reach of ordinary people unable to work due to the pandemic. Medical facilities were already stretched to breaking point by the coronavirus, and are now faced with having to treat the casualties from the explosion. The health sector is, in short, being swamped and cannot cope.
Interpal has worked in Lebanon for over 25 years and is deeply committed to supporting the most vulnerable in Lebanon. We are concerned for how this disaster will worsen an already difficult situation and are grateful to our field team and local partners for their ongoing work.
Medicines, food parcels and financial aid are urgently needed to support people affected by the explosion. To find out how you can support relief efforts during this extremely difficult time, please call us now on 020 8961 9993.