Beirut is in crisis. A fire and massive explosion killed around 200 people and injured an estimated 6,000 people. Buildings in the vicinity were flattened. In a city of 2 million up to 300,000 people are now homeless.
Many Hospitals and clinics were severely damaged or destroyed in the area. Health care workers have been overwhelmed, they struggle with reduced resources and facilities as they care for the thousands injured by the blast.
In a region that has been struggling with war, sectarian violence, political upheavals, a financial crisis and corruption the people are struggling to find their feet. The situation is compounded by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Given the global situation the dire situation in Beirut is already moving to the back pages of the media and will soon be forgotten. But the people need help now and will need it for a long time as they struggle to rebuild.
Disaster Aid International has contacts that they have worked with previously in the area, installing water filtration and comfort supplies for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. A Disaster Response Team member went to Beirut on August 18 to work with the Rotary and Rotaract Clubs in the area, a Medair team and others to prepare a needs assessment. Disaster Aid Canada is currently working with Rotary World Helps, Rotary Clubs in BC and Ontario to provide aid in conjunction with international relief organizations, for the thousands of displaced survivors of the Beirut explosion.
At this time the greatest need is for shelter, water and comfort and hygiene supplies. We are preparing to ship tents if needed, water filters, solar lights, hygiene and comfort supplies. Disaster Aid International and Disaster Aid Canada are working with our contacts on the ground to ensure that help will go where it is most needed. Due to the uncertainty in the area, DAI will not release funds or materials until accountability measures are in place. Disaster Aid Canada will work with Disaster Aid International to ensure we provide the best support for the people of Beirut.