- International Medical Corps has partnerships with more than 50 primary healthcare centers (PHCCs) throughout Lebanon, supporting primary healthcare services for Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese at facilities in Bekaa, Beirut, Mount Lebanon, Akkar and other areas throughout the north and south.
Since the explosion, International Medical Corps has delivered 24 shipments of medical supplies and personal protective equipment—including masks, gloves and gauze—to 19 PHCCs and eight hospitals in Beirut.
The team has provided more than 1,200 medical consultations and 800 mental health consultations through its mobile medical units (MMUs), which were deployed to highly impacted areas of Geitaoui-Karm El Zeitoun, Mar Mikhael, Bourj Hammoud and Mdawar.
The number of people killed by the Beirut Port explosions has reached more than 220, with more than 6,500 injured and some 300,000 people now homeless. The explosion occurred as Lebanon faces multiple crises, including an ongoing financial crisis (which had already increased the country’s poverty rate) and the COVID-19 pandemic, both of which have been further exacerbated by the blast. According to a study on poverty released on August 19 by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), more than 55 percent of the country’s population is now trapped in poverty and struggling to secure basic necessities. Extreme poverty has increased, from 8% in 2019 to 23% in 2020. The poverty rate and vulnerability rates are expected to increase even more in the coming year, due to rising inflation and the impact of the explosions on incomes, food availability and prices.
Additionally, COVID-19 cases have doubled since the explosions. The country recorded its highest number of new daily infections on Friday, with 628 new cases and three deaths. Though many cases may be asymptomatic, there has been an increase in hospitalizations. In an effort to curb the spread, the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities approved a two-week lockdown that began on August 21. The shutdown allows relief and aid work in response to the explosion to continue, and the airport will remain open.
International Medical Corps Response
In Lebanon, International Medical Corps activities focus on the needs of both refugees and vulnerable Lebanese residing in greater Tripoli, Akkar, Beirut and Mount Lebanon, Bekaa and the South. Through our partnerships with more than 50 primary healthcare centers (PHCCs) and hospitals, International Medical Corps provides quality healthcare services, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response programming.
In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, International Medical Corps distributed medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE)—including masks, gloves, gauze and plaster—to 19 primary healthcare centers and eight hospitals in Beirut. The team also provided PPE to more than 2,000 civil society volunteers who were assisting with recovery and clean-up efforts. In response to the growing health and mental health needs caused by the explosion, International Medical Corps deployed mobile medical units (MMUs) and MHPSS shelters to highly affected municipalities, including Bourj Hammoud, Karm El-Zeitoun, Geitaoui and Mar Mikhael. Together, the MMUs and MHPSS shelters provided immediate care to residents affected by the explosion, while alleviating some of the pressure on PHCCs in these areas. In addition, International Medical Corps GBV team is helping women and girls by assessing their specific needs and risks, providing individual support to vulnerable women, girls and GBV survivors, and sharing essential information.