(New York, 7 August 2020): UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock today released $6 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help the response to the Beirut port blast, bringing the total UN funding for this crisis to $15 million.
Tuesday’s explosion ripped through Beirut’s port, leaving more than 150 people dead, 5,000 injured, many more missing and thousands homeless. Three hospitals were left inoperable and two more sustained substantial damage. Those that remain have been overwhelmed with casualties.
The CERF allocation will fund trauma care and other urgent support to hospitals, the repair of damaged homes for the most vulnerable people affected by the explosion, and logistical support.
It comes on top of $9 million in funding which was released from the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund by the UN’s Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, Ms. Najat Rochdi, within 36 hours of the blast. This funding will address primary health needs and provide food assistance, water, sanitation and hygiene support and protection to those most vulnerable.
The Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs,
Mark Lowcock, said:
“This blast ripped through a country already facing civil unrest, economic hardship, the coronavirus outbreak, and a heavy burden from the Syrian refugee crisis. Despite everything, the people of Lebanon have remained generous hosts to millions of Syrian refugees and a beacon of humanity for us all.
“The Lebanese people are strong, but they are being severely tested. Our response should be swift and determined. The funding we are giving today will help alleviate the immediate suffering and support the Lebanese people as they start the process of rebuilding.”
In addition to the funding released, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has coordinated the deployment of experts from the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) system to help first responders in Beirut.
The UN and its partners are urgently working to continue to assess the situation and mobilize emergency assistance.
More supplies are arriving each day to support operations. Three cargo flights with WFP food supplies are due to arrive in Beirut in the coming days.
Against this backdrop, COVID-19 continues to spread across the country with 225 new cases confirmed as of 6 August bringing the total of confirmed cases to 5,672 including 70 deaths and 1,974 recoveries. Health organizations are working to maintain COVID-19 services.
For further information, please contact: Zoe Paxton, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 917 297 1542
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.