Emergency in Beirut
The explosion in the port of Beirut has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and is destroying livelihoods. It has hit a country which, in the middle of the Corona pandemic, is already on the brink of economic and social collapse. Caritas is on hand to support people with emergency relief.
The explosion is leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The blastwave destroyed countless buildings in a one-kilometre radius or damaged them severely. It could be clearly felt in Caritas Switzerland’s office in the Hamra district, approximately three kilometres from the port. Within a five-kilometre radius, many windows were broken and doors ripped from their frames. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes, countless livelihoods are at stake.
Crisis upon crisis for the people of Lebanon
Help is all the more urgent in that the energy and resources of the poorest people in Lebanon, in particular, have long been exhausted. The structurally weak country, which has accepted more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees since the start of the Syrian war, is on the brink of bankruptcy. The economy and infrastructure of the small country are hopelessly overstretched. An ever-growing number of people are losing their jobs and are sliding into poverty. Internal tensions between refugees and the host community are rising. Lebanon is increasingly forgotten by the international donor community.
The health system, too, is struggling under the economic crisis. Countless people have no or insufficient access to medical care. The corona crisis, which has hit Lebanon hard, has further aggravated the situation. On the eve of the explosion, Beirut was already in lockdown for the second time. The explosion in the capital – where the country’s major hospitals are located – damaged hospitals and killed medical staff. The people of Lebanon need our support more than ever.