We are supporting our church partners on the ground as they respond to some of the many needs identified after the Beirut explosion: food supplies, hygiene items, masks, and psychosocial support. We need all the help we can get as we anticipate this new crisis will worsen vulnerabilities and have long-term consequences on many.
As of August 28, the Beirut port explosions had resulted in the death of more than 180 individuals, and injured over 6,500 others, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The explosion came in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis that already pushed into poverty more than half of the total population of Lebanon, and triggered a new wave of political unrest which is violently repressed by the Lebanese authorities. On top of all that, the relaxation of COVID-19 precautionary measures had led to a significant raise in the number of confirmed cases in the country.
Here are a few ways our local church partners and us have started responding to the Beirut explosion
Our local church and community partners have been working to help affected families clean up debris from the explosion;
A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Hungarian Baptist Aid visited Lebanon from August 8 to 12. The SAR team conducted health consultations for migrant domestic workers injured from the blast and led an emergency response training for 9 partner representatives;
We provided 7,800 hot meals that our partners have delivered families affected by the explosion;
We provided 200 blast-affected households in Beirut with a 450,000 Lebanese Pounds multi-use voucher (approximately $117 USD) through 8 local church and community-based partners;
We are providing another 2,000 blast-affected households with 300,000 Lebanese Pounds food vouchers;
We ordered 18,000 hygiene kits who will be distributed until the end of December, mostly to blast affected families, to help ease their financial burden and protect them from the spread of COVID 19;
We provided 90 food boxes, soap and masks to blast-affected families and individuals staying at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) guesthouse.
For strength and renewed vision for our team and partners;
For those who have lost their homes and loved ones so that they may find comfort and healing;
For the doctors, nurses and paramedics who are caring for the injured;
For people who are in leadership positions as they manage the catastrophic human and economic consequences;
For the Church as it seeks to comfort and serve the distressed and brokenhearted;
For the People of God as they seek the Lord and humbly cry out to Him for mercy.