We are preparing to support our church partners on the ground as they seek to respond to some of the many needs identified after the Beirut explosion: food supplies, mattresses and blankets, shelter, 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 13, the Beirut port explosions had resulted in the death of 178 individuals, injured over 6,000 others, while 30 remained missing, 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 also raises the prospect of higher transmission rates in the coming weeks.
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;
We provided 7,800 hot meals that our partners have delivered families affected by the explosion;
We are providing 200 blast-affected households in Beirut with a 450,000 Lebanese Pound multi-use voucher (approximately $117 USD) through 8 local church and community-based partners;
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 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.