The explosions that rocked Beirut on 4 August 2020 killed 194 people, wounded over 6,500, and displaced 300,000 people from their homes. The disaster compounded the suffering of people in Lebanon who were already facing a devastating economic downturn and the impact of COVID-19. Right now, 2.7 million Lebanese people are living in poverty, with 9 out of 10 refugee families in extreme poverty. As a result, many people are unable to afford the food, health care and shelter they need to survive the cold winter months.
Within 36 hours of the blast, Medair staff and volunteers mobilized in Beirut ready to respond. Our team served 10,000 people through the provision materials to seal off windows and doors that had been blown out, and ensuring people had basic hygiene supplies to keep clean and healthy, as well as items for babies. In the next phase of our response, we conducted psychological First Aid sessions with more than 2,000 households and completed emergency repairs on more than 1,000 homes.
Winter in Lebanon can bring harsh temperatures, snow and rain, and bitter winds. We are continuing to assess and repair homes to ensure thousands of families are protected against the colder temperatures. With multiple crises, people are fearful, traumatized and worried for their future. Our psychosocial support team will work directly with people affected and provide referrals to long-term mental health services for those requiring additional support.
Urgent relief is still a necessity to help families recover from the shocking explosions. Will you join us today in helping Beirut?