Lebanon

Lebanon: Beirut Port Explosions Situation Report No. 7 (As of 25 August 2020) [EN/AR]

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments

This report is produced by OCHA Lebanon in collaboration with humanitarian partners.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Offloading of the 12,500 metric tons of wheat flour received on 18 August is ongoing.

  • Since 9 August, WFP provided 200 food parcels to support communal kitchens, serving 3,000 hot meals a day across three most affected neighbourhoods.

  • Shelter partners distributed 1,562 weatherproofing kits between 19-22 August. Since the explosions a total of 4,163 households were reached by shelter partners.

  • WASH partners installed 277 water tanks to serve 480 households in Gemmayzeh and Mar Mikhael, and 80 per cent of buildings without water points are now reconnected to the public network.

  • The total number of damaged private and public schools reached 178, up from an initial estimation of 120.

  • As of 25 August, 564 health workers were diagnosed with COVID-19.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Following initial assessments of needs in the immediate aftermath of the Beirut Port explosions on 4 August, a more comprehensive picture of the impact is forming. Priority needs for the assessed affected population include access to healthcare and food; rehabilitation of shelters; cash-assistance; and livelihood support. Needs of the affected population may however change as the response on the ground evolves and adapts.

According to UNDP, a total of 200,000 housing units were affected by the explosions, with an estimated 40,000 buildings damaged, of which 3,000 severely. Over 15,000 establishments – some 50 per cent of all Beirut establishments – are also estimated to be damaged, the majority in the wholesale, retail and hospitality sectors. This affects especially the most vulnerable who, in the affected areas, may have lost both their homes and incomes.
Poor households, refugees and migrant workers are particularly vulnerable as they have less resources to reconstruct damaged shelters and buy food and essential items. These groups also often live in densely populated neighbourhoods with limited access to services, including WASH and health services. Refugees of all nationalities who were living in areas impacted by the 4 August explosions are severely affected.

The loss of homes often result in overcrowded households and communities, thus raising other risks, including increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission and/or sexual and gender based violence. According to the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC), the highest numbers of households reporting ten or more people staying under the same roof were in Mdaouar, Achrafieh and Quarantina. UN-Women and ACTED completed a descriptive gender analysis of data collected through the LRC needs assessment and preliminary findings show that women-headed households are more likely to report physical and/or mental disabilities, as well as indicate the need for care and hygiene kits. It also shows a high number of households affected by the explosions consist of single elderly women.

Some migrants and domestic workers were reportedly abandoned by the families they worked for, and have been forced to live on the streets, often with no documentation which may hamper their access to assistance. Migrant workers are concentrated in Geitawi, Gemmayzeh and Bourj Hammod. There are also concern about human and sex trafficking incidents of vulnerable migrants. The dependency on service providers may further exposing them to exploitation and abuse.

In line with the recommendations of the Environment Emergency Cell, the clearance efforts of Beirut Port will be linked to the disaster waste management strategy being developed, with special considerations for hazardous waste. The explosions and ensuing fires reportedly released toxic materials in the environment that could contain asbestos, toxic dust and other hazardous waste. While the smoke that resulted from the blast containing toxic particles and gases have dissipated by now, there may be an ongoing increased risk to residents from particulate air pollution that may be laced with various metals, powdered glass, and toxins from building debris.

Lebanon has seen an increase in COVID-19 transmissions since the explosions, further straining the country’s health systems. On 25 August, 532 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the country. Of these, 13 were among healthcare workers, bringing the total to 564. The total caseload in Lebanon stands at 13,687, including 138 deaths – 12 of which reported today – and 3,815 recoveries. As of 25 August, the total number of hospitalized patients is 270, with 73 in intensive care units.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.