As a response to the 4th of August Beirut Port Explosion, the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) committed to provide direct financial assistance of 300 USD per month, for a period of 7 months, to at least 10,000 of the most vulnerable affected families. This basic assistance was meant to help the families address their priority needs such as food, medication, winterization and healthcare.
One year on, the Lebanese Red Cross is proud to report that 10,817 families have each received a total of 2100USD in financial assistance, with more than 200 families still due to receive the full amount in the coming weeks. In total, the LRC has provided more than 23 million USD on this support.
A significant percentage of these families still have major vulnerabilities, and LRC is now initiating a new fundraising effort to continue helping as many of the most severely affected families as possible.
The families were selected after an assessment of more than 30,000 households, and based on specific vulnerability criteria such as families having difficulties in meeting their most urgent needs, people with special needs, families with damaged or destroyed apartments, injuries, problems in accessing healthcare and/or medicine, single female headed household and age considerations. In coordination with other humanitarian organizations and to avoid duplication of efforts, the LRC focused its relief efforts on the following areas: Achrafieh, a part of Bourj Hammoud, Mdawar, Rmeil, Saifi, Bachoura, Zkak el Blat.
In addition to the financial aid, LRC provided food parcels, hygiene kits, primary healthcare services, blood units and ambulance services to more than 200,000 persons since the 4th of August.
“We would never have been able to respond at this level without the efforts and sacrifices of thousands of volunteers and hundreds of employees,” Dr. Antoine Zoghbi, President of the Lebanese Red Cross said, adding: “They have spent countless hours and overcame tremendous challenges to keep on responding to all requests despite the multiple crises that our country is going through.”
In its efforts to be as transparent and accountable as possible to donors, partners and the population, the Lebanese Red Cross has also committed to an external financial audit, which will cover the period from the 4th of August 2020 until the end of the relief efforts in the 3rd quarter of 2021. A first version of the report, covering the period from 4th of August 2020 to 30th of June 2021, will be published in September 2021 on LRC’s website www.redcross.org.lb and will be accessible to the public. LRC also contracted an external French consulting company to evaluate its financial assistance program. This external evaluation has been completed and will be published on LRC’s website on the 15th of August 2021.
“To every person that has supported the LRC, to the Lebanese Diaspora, to every government, company, institution and partner, the family of the Lebanese Red Cross extends its heartfelt thanks for your trust and support in these difficult times”, said Georges Kettaneh Secretary General of the Lebanese Red Cross, adding: “Without your presence next to us and your rapid contributions, we would not have been able to extend our crisis response services to so many of the affected families, and we would not have been able to sustain our national ambulance, blood, and primary health services.”
Finally, the Lebanese Red Cross wishes to renew its condolences to all those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy, and its sympathies to all those who have suffered from it. We hope that we have managed to alleviate the suffering of at least a portion of those affected, and we renew our commitment to do more, to do it better, and to continue providing neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable and to the utmost of our capacities.