On 4 August a large explosion occurred in the port of Beirut, killing over 200 people and injuring over 5,000 (BBC 10/08/2020). The cause of the blast is pending investigation but has been attributed to 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate which was inadequately stored in port warehouses (The Guardian 05/08/2020).
A number of sectors of Greater Beirut are affected, some of which are home to vulnerable, poor, migrant workers or refugee communities. Homes and businesses, including restaurants, bars, and hotels have been lost. Up to 300,000 people could have lost their homes (World Vision 08/2020; UNICEF 05/08/2020,
NYT 05/08/2020, UNICEF 07/08/2020).
The explosion takes place while Lebanon faces a deep economic crisis (OCHA 05/08/2020, BBC 06/08/2020, NYT 05/08/2020) and rising COVID-19 cases. Protests based on mistrust of the Lebanese government and overall administration have been taking place for months in Beirut city prompting the Government to step down on 10 August 2020.