We Spoke With The Organizations Helping The Beirut Blast Victims Who Were Disabled

Middle East Eye

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Disclaimer: The article contains descriptive content on the topic of the Beirut Port explosion that some readers may find triggering. Reader’s discretion is advised.

Many people were rendered disabled by the Beirut Blast and left to deal with physical, emotional, and financial problems that plague their everyday life.

When 961News asked about the main organizations that have helped the disabled victims of the Blast, two NGOs stood out, Arcenciel and Caritas Liban.

Caritas has provided certain victims with financial support, which enabled them to undergo surgeries in hopes of regaining functionality in their affected body parts.

Arcenciel was able to supply handicapped victims with assistive technology by utilizing money sent by donors. The non-profit NGO was also able to follow up with victims and provide them with physical and psychological therapy post surgeries.

In an interview with George Xanthopoulos, head of the Accessibility and Rehabilitation Program of Arcenciel, 961News was told that the organization faced many obstacles in the process of helping disabled victims.

Xanthopoulos expressed that people had changed their place of residence after the Blast, which ultimately made it harder for Arcenciel to search for them and lend them assistance.

“We received funds to rehabilitate 700 houses through the European Commission. While rehabilitating the houses, we were able to get to know several victims and their needs, if they had any. This is when it got a bit easier,” he continued.

Many people treated after the blast were covered by the Ministry of Health, according to Xanthopoulos; however, the ministry refused to give out the information of the victims to organizations aiming to provide help.

“They kept the data for themselves,” Xanthopoulos said.

He explained that the Health Ministry refuses to share information about the victims for privacy reasons.

Regardless of their intentions, “it was difficult for all NGOs to go and search for people harmed by the Blast,” he noted.

On the night of the Blast, Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan disclosed that his corresponding ministry would cover the healthcare cost of every person who was hospitalized on that day.

Later that month, it was also promised that the Health Ministry would cover all medical bills resulting from the Blast; however, many people are still struggling daily to pay their medical bills, acquire medication, and reestablish themselves in their communities.

Related: Over 1,000 Lebanese Injured By The Beirut Blast Are Still Disabled To Date

The 244+ Beirut Blast Victims, Remember Their Names

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