Statement: Explosion in Beirut

Two days after the double explosion which took place in the port of Beirut, the still provisional toll shows dozens of deaths, thousands injured, and more than 300,000 people who are left homeless.

Already in the grip of a terrible economic crisis aggravated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the double explosion is yet another tragedy that strikes the already very weakened Lebanese population. The situation is catastrophic. There, the NGO CARE is mobilizing to come to the aid of the Lebanese people and is launching an appeal for donations.

“There are hundreds of missing people, their relatives are looking for them everywhere in vain. And then there is the blood, the blood on the clothes of people who have been injured and are trying to leave their homes too damaged to be able to spend the night there. With their bags on their backs, they roam the streets waiting for a member of their family to come and pick them up.” These are the first words sent to us by our colleague Patricia Khoder from CARE in Lebanon to describe the situation.

“The explosion that took place in Beirut is the largest non-nuclear explosion on record. From the city center to the East Beirut neighborhoods of Gemmayzé to Mar Mikhaël via Saïfi and the port, there are only the skeletons of concrete or steel buildings, the rest has been shattered. In some places, the steel structure has melted. A destruction worthy of a fictional film. There is nothing left of my city, Beirut, except its inhabitants, who have learned to survive, to make a living, to be resilient. But faced with the scale of the situation, resilience will not be enough, we need help,” warns Patricia Khoder, spokesperson for CARE in Lebanon.

For several months, the country has suffered from a serious economic crisis, and while half of the population are living in poverty and encounter difficulties in feeding themselves, this disaster threatens to further darken the picture: the port of Beirut, beyond its economic importance, houses the majority of the country's food reserves. In addition, the city's hospitals are already overwhelmed by COVID cases which have tripled in the past month, and now some have been damaged or destroyed by the explosion.

“We already thought we were going through the worst and yet…it’s a real nightmare. Beirut, already on the brink of the abyss, apparently found it on August 4, 2020,” said Bujar Hoxha, Director of CARE in Lebanon.

“With the crisis, we were already struggling to cope with the scale of humanitarian needs, but following the explosion, hundreds of thousands of people lost everything and will need our help. CARE teams are hard at work to meet the most urgent needs: shelter, food, and support reconstruction efforts. But to help as many people as possible, we need your support, your donation can save lives,” said Hoxha.

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CARE has spokespeople available. For media inquiries, please contact:

Lama Alsafi
media@care.ca | 613-228-5641


About CARE Canada:

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE develops solutions alongside women and girls in developing countries to lift themselves, their families, and their communities out of poverty and out of crisis. CARE stands with women and girls around the world in economic empowerment. We bring women, girls, and their communities together to challenge inequality while facing issues like food insecurity, climate change, and emergency relief in times of crisis or disaster. CARE works in 100 countries around the world.

To learn more about CARE Canada, visit www.care.ca