This post may seem like it’s come a little late, but I wanted to keep it on your radar as it’s still so important right now. Most of you probably already know that earlier this month, on August 4, Beirut experienced a massive explosion that killed more than 160 people and left thousands of others injured. Prior to this devastation, the country was already feeling immense repercussions from the global pandemic. Many hospitals are overwhelmed with an influx of patients and the country is suffering greatly. As a big supporter of UNICEF, I am proud to partner with them in order to highlight all the important work they are doing for the families there – and to share more information on how to help Lebanon.
What happened in Beirut?
On August 4th, two explosions erupted in the port area of Beirut, Lebanon’s capital. As an aftermath, it destroyed infrastructure across the city (including the port that is used to import supplies) and left 300,000 people homeless. (For reference, the damages are estimated to be up to $15 billion!) About one third of this number are children. Hospital admission was already record high prior to the explosions, largely due to COVID-19, and are fuller more now than ever. The city is hurting immensely and needs all the help it can get. Keep scrolling for more on how to help Lebanon.
What is UNICEF doing now to assist?
It has already been more than 2 weeks since the explosion and UNICEF knew they had to prioritize to help out. They recently increased their international appeal from $8.2 million to $23.2 million. Not only that, but as of two weeks ago, UNICEF USA raised $855k thus far!
They are currently working with the Lebanese government, municipalities, local & international NGOs, private sector and UN agencies to lend a hand. As far as immediate relief, UNICEF has delivered 10,000 tetanus vaccines, distributed water to port workers and first responders, provided food to 700 children and caregivers – along with clothes and detergents to the most vulnerable families. UNICEF also recognizes the special needs of women and has distributed 5,000 sanitary pads to female social workers and Lebanaese women and girls. In addition, 2,500 mini-hygiene kits are being distributed. Along with the basic survival and sustenance many affected families need, UNICEF has also provided Psychological First Aid (PFA) to 720 children and adults at their pop-up tent set up.
How can I help?
As you can see, so much has been accomplished in a short amount of time – BUT there is still far more to do. This explosion worsened the dire economic crisis and pandemic emergency for the Lebanese people. The families and children in Beirut really need immediate assistance. UNICEF is appealing $46.7 million to protect the children, assist with basic essential services, and provide training for young people to help be a part of the efforts to rebuild their country.
The greatest way to get involved is to donate to UNICEF to help them fund their aid to Beirut. Less than 3% of funds are spent on administrative costs so you can rest easy knowing your dollar is going towards the relief. At times like this, I always think of my children and how incredibly heartbreaking it would be for someone so young to go through an event so devastating and scarring.
If you are financially able to, please donate to UNICEF today!
To learn more about how to help Lebanon, please visit: unicef.org/lebanon. Thank you all so much for your support!