Lebanon + 1 more

Beirut Explosion Situation Report #7, October 7, 2020



Our Footprint

  • International Medical Corps has partnerships with more than 50 primary healthcare centers (PHCCs) throughout Lebanon, supporting healthcare services for Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese at facilities in Bekaa, Beirut, Mount Lebanon, Akkar and other areas throughout the north and south.

Our Response

  • To date, International Medical Corps has distributed personal protective equipment (PPE)—including masks, gloves and gowns—to 27 healthcare facilities, and medical supplies to 23 facilities.

  • We have distributed more than 168,000 face masks, 307,730 nitrile gloves and more than 16,000 surgical gowns to PHCCs and hospitals.

  • Our team has provided more than 1,100 medical consultations and 2,000 psychological first-aid sessions through mobile medical units that were deployed to Bourj Hammoud, Geitaoui, Karm El Zeitoun, Mar Mikhael and Mdawar.

When a large quantity of ammonium nitrate exploded at the port of Beirut on August 4, Lebanon was already in the mist of an unprecedented economic crisis. Over the course of this crisis, the country’s currency has lost around 80% of its value, and the COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures have left nearly one out of every three Lebanese unemployed, according to a survey conducted by the World Food Program. Nearly 1 million people in Lebanon were living below the poverty line before the explosion and, over the past six months, the price of monthly food staples has more than doubled.

The explosion—which killed nearly 200 people and injured more than 6,000—only exacerbated Lebanon’s humanitarian and financial needs. More than 40 days after the disaster, areas surrounding the explosion site remain completely destroyed or severely damaged. Some 300,000 people remain homeless. Making matters worse, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 infections since August 4. Experts warn that hospitals will soon be unable to cope with the increase in caseloads. The country’s healthcare system was already struggling before the explosion, which badly damaged a number of healthcare facilities leaving many unable to operate. Now, many healthcare facilities are reporting dwindling medical supplies as a result of the ongoing financial crisis, and fears are growing that subsidies on medicines might soon be eliminated, leaving hundreds unable to cover the cost of basic medications.

Over the weekend, Lebanon registered a record number of new daily COVID-19 infections, with more than 1,321 cases recorded—bringing the country’s cumulative total to more than 43,000 cases. Though these numbers are low compared to global standards, the World Health Organization has reported that intensive-care units in the country are at 82% capacity. The rapid increase in cases has led the Ministry of Interior to announce lockdowns in 111 towns and villages, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.