The Lebanese Red Cross responds to a deepening crisis

Topics: Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
August 05, 2020

On Tuesday, August 4 a massive explosion shook Lebanon’s capital of Beirut. Buildings were leveled, cars tossed into the air, windows and doorways blown out. Reports indicated that the blast was felt as far away as Cyprus, more than 200KM away. Sadly, people lost their lives, were injured, are still missing or instantly found themselves homeless.
The Lebanese Red Cross responded immediately, mobilizing teams from across the country to the Port of Beirut, with rescue, first aid and ambulance services. Red Cross teams set up multiple triage and treatment centres, and helped evacuate two severely damaged hospitals, all while three of the organization’s emergency medical services (EMS) and two blood transfusion centres were severely damaged.

The Lebanese Red Cross is currently scaling up to support some 10,000 families affected by the explosion for up to three months. This support includes cash transfers, distributing essential items and provision of essential personal protective equipment (PPE).   
At this time, the Canadian Red Cross and other Red Cross Movement partners are monitoring the situation very closely and are in close contact with the Lebanese Red Cross. The Canadian Red Cross is actively providing financial and technical-health assistance to the Lebanese Red Cross and stands ready to support further if needed.
The explosion has exacerbated a deepening humanitarian crisis: financial strain, political uncertainties, the effects of the neighbouring Syrian conflict, COVID-19, and now the massive explosion in Beirut. These compounding factors will only serve to make a bad situation worse, especially for the most vulnerable.
The Lebanese Red Cross is responding to the larger crisis through its ambulance services, medical centres, mobile clinics, and disaster response units. They are a highly respected and trusted organization, enjoying acceptance among the country’s diverse population and authorities. They have a strong volunteer network with an on-the-ground presence across Lebanon.
Since 2013, the Canadian Red Cross has been working in partnership with the Lebanese Red Cross and the Palestine Red Crescent Society in Lebanon to delivery health care to those who need it most. Together, we support primary health care, mobile health care and emergency medical services.

If you would like to support the Canadian Red Cross’ ongoing work in Lebanon, please give generously to the Lebanon Humanitarian Needs Fund. Money raised will enable the Red Cross to respond to and help individuals in Lebanon affected by the ongoing humanitarian crises now, including the explosion, and as further needs arise. The cost of fundraising for the fund will not exceed five per cent. The cost of fundraising, such as processing donations, issuing receipts, or reporting back to donors will not exceed five per cent.