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Lebanon Crisis

Past Emergency
August 4, 2020
Beirut, Lebanon
A woman, who says she was injured following Tuesday's blast, walks past damage along a street in Beirut, Lebanon, August 10, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir - RC21BI9WNNU8

The Beirut Explosion

On August 4, 2020, a warehouse at the Beirut Port exploded, causing widespread casualties and material damage. WHO reports that more than 180 people were killed, an estimated 6,500 people were injured and hundreds of thousands of people were driven from their homes. The damage to the health system was extensive with at least 6 hospitals and 20 primary health care centers severely damaged, rendered partially or fully inoperable. Medical facilities in Beirut have been inundated with trauma and burn patients, with many providing treatment on sidewalks and parking lots.  The disaster came amidst a severe economic, political, and social crisis in Lebanon and on-going concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Many intensive care units were already near capacity with COVID-19 patients prior to the explosion. Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Azakir

Our Response (updated Jan 2023)

In response to the recent cholera outbreak in Lebanon, Americares has mobilized resources to support the cholera response through a grant to our partner Anera. It will help support cholera prevention and treatment in five of the most populated Palestinian camps in Lebanon, and through 17 partner healthcare centers located in the outbreak regions of Lebanon. It seeks to reach 102,000 community members with basic cholera prevention knowledge and distribute 1000 hygiene kits to households who attend awareness sessions through the end of February. 

Following the explosion, Americares continued to provide local partner Anera with shipments to support survivors and to address ongoing health care access challenges. One of our emergency air shipments contained nearly 1.7 tons of medicine and medical supplies, close to 50,000 course treatments and is valued at more than $1,134,000. This shipment was in addition to a total of more than 60 tons of medicine and supplies to hospitals and medical facilities in Lebanon.  Anera supports over 450 health facilities and social service organizations throughout the country. Most of the medicines and supplies, including IV fluids and anesthesia medicine, are destined for hospitals and clinics treating survivors of the massive explosion. The latest shipment from our warehouse containing 8 tons of medicine and medical supplies and a route shipment of glucose monitoring products are expected to arrive in Lebanon shortly.

These shipments brought Americares total support to more than 113 tons of medicine, medical supplies and relief items – including more than 472,000 course treatments of medicine – valued at more than $3 million. In addition, Americares provided two grants to local partners to support PPE purchase and mask manufacturing to mitigate the increase of COVID-19 spread during the response period. Americares will continue to support Anera with regular shipments, as their focus has shifted from the port explosion to other long-term health and development challenges facing the population in Lebanon.

Read more about our other shipments to Anera.

Our Partners

Americares has been working with Anera for 20 years, supporting health services for Syrian and Palestinian refugees as well as the most vulnerable Lebanese in the country. In addition, Americares partners with Caritas to provide cash assistance for Syrian refugees in Lebanon in need of inpatient medical care. Read more about our ongoing work in Lebanon. Photo courtesy of Anera.