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Lebanon Crisis Appeal

This appeal is now closed. You can still give to support our ongoing work to help vulnerable people around the world.

Group of men carry injured man on a stretcher away from Beirut explosion

On 4 August 2020, a sudden explosion tore through the port of Beirut, Lebanon, with shock waves racing through densely populated areas. Over 200 people lost their lives, and more than 6,500 people were injured.

Homes and businesses were flattened to the ground, windows shattered, and doors knocked down. An estimated 74,000 homes were damaged and 300,000 people were left homeless.

Across the city of Beirut, neighbourhoods were reduced to rubble by the blast, along with hospitals and crucial stores containing around 85% of the country’s grain and medical supplies.

Funds raised

£944173
We raised £944,173 since this appeal launched in August 2020.

People reached

16307
We reached 16,307 people or 3,447 households

Christian Aid's response

Thanks to your support our local partners Basmeh & Zeitooneh, Mouvement Social and Association Najdeh have been responding in the following ways:

  • Mobilising groups in rubble removal of affected locations  
  • Distribution of food, water, hygiene, non-food items and COVID-19 kits 
  • Supporting affected households to access medicine and health services  
  • Cash assistance to purchase essential items for the household affected
  • Distribution of cash, tent repairs, heaters and fuel to Syrian refugees residing in informal settlements in West and Central Bekka  
  • Distribution of food kits and the implementation of community-led micro-grants in Nahr El Bared Palestinian Camp

Areas Reached: Beirut, West and Central Bekka, Nahr-el Bared Camp

Total Number of People/Households Reached: 16,307 people or 3,447 households including households affected by the blast; Syrian refugees and Palestinian IDPs

  • Food kits & food vouchers = 2,575 households
  • Hygiene kits & vouchers = 1,255 households
  • Cash Assistance = 1,042 households
  • Winterisation = 872 households 

*Note: some households received more than one assistance package

Read our blog marking one year on from the blast.

Work on the ground continues

One year on from the blast, we continue to work with local partners to provide essential support to those most severely affected. 

As the country has sunk further into severe economic collapse and struggled with an onslaught of coronavirus cases, half the population faced difficulty feeding their families or were unable to access essentials including basic medicines. 

 

One year on update

Lebanon’s poorest face a deepening economic, political and health crises. Over half of the Lebanese population are now living in poverty, with the most vulnerable- refugees, migrant workers, children and elderly bearing the brunt.

Fadi Halisso is co-director of Christian Aid partner Basmeh & Zeitooneh, founded in 2012 to serve Syrian refugees in Lebanon, which now finds itself helping Lebanese citizens as well as Syrian refugees. He explains:

We are overwhelmed...recently we’ve received requests from an average of 10,000 families a month, for food and basic hygiene items. Before, it was rare to find Lebanese families asking for help with such basic needs. Now, even households who were managing before are hurting.

- Fadi Halisso, Co-director, Basmeh & Zeitooneh.

Majid Zaarour

Association Najdeh

Majid's story

Majid, originally from Syria, came to Beirut with his family 10 years ago as refugees.  His home was damaged in the August explosion – the doors and windows of his building blew in, injuring his wife – and though months have passed, the emotional scars from that day remain. 

He received cash support from Christian Aid’s partner Association Najdeh in Beirut, thanks to funding from the Scottish Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund, which allowed him to buy essential food and helped pay his rent.  But his children are still traumatised.

Majid said: “I was able to pay part of the rent of my house that was accumulating and I was able to buy food for a week at a time that was difficult for me to buy food for 1 day due to the difficult economic situation.”

Volunteers removing rubble

Christian Aid partner organisation Basmeh & Zeitouneh volunteers cleaning the rubble and broken glass in the houses caused by the explosion.

Lebanon appeal

Cleaning of debris from the blast by partner organisation Basmeh & Zeitooneh - Ahmad Tahan / Christian Aid

Association Najdeh

Association Najdeh providing food parcels to vulnerable families. - Association Najdeh

Food parcels distribution

Volunteers and staff from Association Najdeh providing food parcels to vulnerable families.

Vera Nakkour

Vera Nakkour, 70, lives with her son and grandson in her home just 300 metres from the port. She compares life now to the Civil War where she lost her husband. Her youngest child was only one week old at the time. The blast is a stark reminder of those difficult times.

Vera no longer works and relies on support from her eldest son, who struggles with a family of his own to look after.

Recognised as extremely vulnerable, Vera received cash assistance from our partner Association Najdeh which she used to buy food and medicines for herself, her children and grandchildren.

 

Vera Nakkour sits beneath a picture of her late husband Eliyas Yaghliyan who she lost during the Civil War

Vera Nakkour - Association Najdeh

What I lived through in the Civil War with my children, I live it again now with my grandchildren. 

He (her grandson) is traumatized now and when he hears a loud noise, he gets terrified.

Let us pray

God, our refuge in times of trouble
we pray for our brothers and sisters in Beirut today.

Lord, be with the emergency services as they battle to help the thousands injured.

Lord, hold those who have lost loved ones in the palm of your hand.

Lord, we pray your provision for poor and marginalised communities who face an even more uncertain future.

Lord, we pray for wisdom for leaders as they make difficult decisions.

Lord, open our hearts - may they be full of compassion for the suffering we see.

Stir us to action.

In the tragedy of loss,
we pray your comfort.

In the chaos and injury,
we pray your calm and divine healing.

In the devastation and the heartbreak,
we pray your peace.

We pray that in the despair that lies amid the rubble of the explosion
there will be glimmers of hope and life.
 

Amen.