Beirut Port Explosions: Shelter Sector Dashboard (September 2020)

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On August 4th, a warehouse at the Beirut Port exploded, causing widespread casualties and material damage. It is estimated that the explosions directly impacted around 300,000 individuals living in an estimated 77,000 apartments located across 10,000 buildings within three kilometres of the epicentre. This has led to the displacement of households to areas within and outside of the immediately impacted area. However, a majority of affected households continue to reside within their damaged buildings.


The initial rapid shelter assessment is based on key informant interviews and rapid field surveillance of damage levels across 12,305 apartments (12% of total in affected area) in 2,833 buildings (21% of total in affected area). Apartments considered in level 1 have minor damages to property such as broken glass, doors, locks, collapse of false ceiling. There are no structural damages at this level. The shelter remains habitable with no or minor compromises on safety, security and access to services, including water, sanitation and electricity.

Apartments considered in level 2 have moderate damages to property, more than level 1, though still with no apparent structural damage. At this level the apartment is either not habitable or habitable with safety and security of the premises compromised. Services including water, sanitation and electricity are not or may be only partly accessible. Apartments and buildings within level 3 show heavy damages of structural (load-bearing) and/or architectural elements, with possible collapse presenting acute risk at both resident household and community/street level. Several buildings have collapsed either immediately or within days after the explosion


The sector worked with OCHA, the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Lebanese Red Cross to divide the affected area into operational zones for coordinating assessments and assistance. It also categorised the zones by pre-blast socio-economic status to guide targeting based on vulnerability.

Based on the MSNA, the most urgent needs have been addressed through the distribution of 7,062 shelter weatherproofing kits (benefitting more than 21,000 people) and cash for rent (115 HH to date). Shelter partners are moving forward with support for minor repairs (1,207 HH to date) and rehabilitation (95 HH to date), reflecting a transition from the immediate to the medium-term response.

Partners have assisted the municipalities of Beirut and Bourj Hammoud with early recovery-oriented building-level assessments of damage that has already informed evacuation notices by the authorities (over 200 buildings in Beirut alone) and will help guide support to responding to unsound buildings.


Against an estimated total need of 65,831 units, partners have confirmed funding for 10,487 minor repairs and rehabilitations. Funding is in the pipeline for a further 14,270 units, should these funds be secured, a gap of 41,074 units remains.