On Friday, the United Nations launched a $565 million appeal to help Beirut move into the next stage of recovery including reconstruction of damaged property as well as ways to improve the economy for the long term.
The blast on August 4, killed around 180 people, injured thousands and rendered hundreds of thousands of people homeless.
The property damage is unimaginable. The grain silos, homes, offices, restaurants, shops, businesses, cars, taxis, and even morale were all destroyed in a blink of an eye.
“The scale of the loss from the Beirut explosions is so vast, it is likely every single person in Lebanon has been touched by this terrible event.”
– Najat Rochdi, the UN Deputy Special Coordinator in Lebanon
Lebanon was already facing its worse economic crisis in living history. The value of the Lebanese lira dwindled against the greenback, which became a scarce currency in the country that depended highly on it.
Diapers, cooking oil, and other basic needs became a luxury for some. Prices of simple goods began to skyrocket even at local grocery stores.
Before the explosion, Save the Children estimated that around a million people will suffer starvation in Beirut alone – and over half of these people are children.
The coronavirus contributed to the struggles. The pandemic affected economies around the world and contributed largely to unemployment in Lebanon.
How will the UN appeal help?
With the $565 million, the United Nations will tend to food security, health, shelter, and education, according to a release.
The UN will oversee the provision of warm meals, food rations, as well as grain delivery to those impacted by the explosion.
Responding to health needs, the UN will repair damaged medical facilities, hospitals, etc, as well as provide trauma kits and essential medication.
The UN will provide cash to families who have been forced to leave their damaged homes. The cash will be able to cover shelter expenses.
The UN will also allocate funding towards reconstructing homes and buildings that were affected by the explosion.
For education, the UN will contribute to the rebuilding of schools damaged during the blast, and will provide psychological support.
“The task of rebuilding people’s lives and recovering from the devastation is only just beginning. I urge the international community to demonstrate their steadfast commitment to the people of Lebanon and repay in turn Lebanon’s incredible generosity to Syrian and Palestine refugees with full financial support for this appeal.”
– Najat Rochdi
The United Nations is on the ground daily working to provide immediate aid to those directly impacted by the blast.
On August 20, the initial shipment of a total of roughly 17,500 metric tons of wheat flour will arrive in Beirut.
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