On Aug 4, a massive explosion shook Beirut, killing untold numbers of people and injuring thousands. The blast left 300,000 homeless and overwhelmed Lebanon's healthcare system during the country's worst economic and health crises. Rapid currency devaluation and inflation in Lebanon and the ongoing pandemic have already pushed most of Lebanon's refugee population into abject poverty. Anera is responding, but donated humanitarian supplies will have to ship by air, raising costs to transport aid.
The explosion is worsening Lebanon's economic and health crises. Hospitals are overwhelmed, 300,000 people are homeless, and aid shipments are unable to be processed through the Port of Beirut. This comes during rapid inflation of food and hygiene product costs and record high levels of unemployment and poverty. Before this devastation, the World Bank estimated that 50% of the Lebanese population will fall under the poverty line in 2020. This catastrophe drastically increases the immediate need.
The immediate need for medical supplies and food in Lebanon is enormous. Donated goods that were in the Port of Beirut have been damaged and cannot be distributed. No new donations can come through the port, meaning Anera will have to rely on expensive air transport. Hospitals were already overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases and are now running out of supplies to care for the injured. This project will allow for immediate air shipments of donated medical supplies and food to address the crisis.
By meeting the immediate needs of those affected in Lebanon, this project will allow hospitals to better care for more patients and save lives. This project will also allow families to take some precautions against the current pandemic, preventing an increase in cases that will further overwhelm the already flooded healthcare system. Food parcels will provide enough nutritious food for families to prevent starvation, especially as Lebanon heads into the fall and winter.