On Tuesday, a colossal explosion shook the Lebanese capital of Beirut severely damaging and demolishing the city’s port. For up to six miles away from the blast, parts of the city saw a jarring and overwhelming impact from the blast. By the next morning, more than 100 people were declared dead, over 4,000 people injured, and hundreds reported missing.
Videos began circulating the internet shortly after the explosion which happened in the evening local time. Footage of the mushroom cloud, a second explosion, and resulting shock wave went viral and have been viewed by millions worldwide. Meanwhile, officials are still searching for answers about what happened. Abbas Ibrahim, the chief of Lebanese general security, said the blast might have been caused by confiscated explosive materials that were stored at the port, reports the Associated Press. Ibrahim dismissed the talk of fireworks as a possible cause, calling it “ridiculous” given the impact.
The extent of the damage is still being calculated and comes at a time when the country is already facing economic collapse separate from the coronavirus pandemic. Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud told AFP Beirut that the explosion has left approximately 300,000 people homeless with damage extending to over half of the city. It is estimated that it will cost up to USD $5 billion to fund repairs. As a result of the extensive damage, a two-week state of emergency was declared. Lebanon’s High Defense Council described Beirut as a “devastated city.”
Hospitals, already at capacity due to COVID-19, are now full of injured people. Some of the hospitals were damaged by the blast leaving them unable to treat people or calling for spare generators to keep the electricity running in their buildings. Lebanon’s prime minister, Hassan Diab, officially declared it a day of mourning.
As the world watches Beirut try to literally piece the city back together, many are looking for ways to help contribute to those who are suffering from damages. Ahead, we’ve compiled a list of organizations providing aid and funding to those affected by the explosion in Beirut.
Beit el Baraka
The Beirut-based non-profit offers help to families and older people in Lebanon who are struggling to afford living expenses. Since the explosion, the organization shared that it will focus on repairing homes of families that were damaged by the blast and they are currently accepting any kind of assistance.
Humanity & Inclusion
Humanity & Inclusion provides rehabilitation services and post-surgical physical therapy. In response to the explosion, it launched a campaign to help deliver vital rehabilitation and psychosocial care to people who were injured.
Lebanese Red Cross
With more than 300 ambulances and 3,000 emergency medical technicians, the Lebanese Red Cross is the country’s main provider of ambulances. You can donate to their organization here.
The non-profit organization set up a fundraising page on JustGiving to collect money for disaster relief, specifically partnering with non-governmental organizations. Currently, the fundraising goal is set to £5 million.
Donner Sang Compter
Founded a decade ago, Donner Sang Compter helps set up blood drives in Lebanon. The organization is now focusing its efforts on collecting blood for hospitals in Beirut.
Islamic Relief Lebanon Emergency Appeal
Under the umbrella of Islamic Relief, a charity that offers international aid and development, the relief appeal aims to provide food, water, and other basic supplies to those in need following the explosion. It is also helping clear the streets of debris and paying people currently out of work to help out. Donate or find more information to get involved at this link.
Lebanese Food Bank
Based in Beirut, the food bank is working to provide people and families with food, provisions, and access to safe spaces. They are accepting monetary or other donations now.
Save The Children
This organization has been working with children and young people across Lebanon for over 60 years. It covers a wide range of needs from education to health to food assistance. Since the explosion, Save The Children announced that they are committed to providing assistance to children and families as well as physical and emotional protection to those affected by the disaster.