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Americares Responds to Explosion in Beirut

  • August 11, 2020
  • Emergency Response
  • 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

Stamford, Conn. – Aug. 11, 2020 – Americares is sending nearly 60 tons of medicine and supplies to hospitals and medical facilities in Lebanon where an explosion in Beirut’s port last week left 150 people dead and injured at least 5,000 others.

Americares is sending a series of shipments, valued at nearly $900,000 to partner organization Anera, which 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 blast comes on the heels of a political and economic crisis, a mounting refugee crisis, increasing poverty and a worsening COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

“Beirut’s health system has been devastated at a time when families were already struggling to access quality care, and health facilities have been dealing with an increase in COVID-19 infections,” said Americares Director of Emergency Response Brian Scheel. “The medicine and relief supplies we’re providing will be put to use immediately to ensure survivors have access to life-saving health care.”

At least 15 medical facilities, including three major hospitals, were damaged in the Aug. 4 explosion, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Less than half of the primary care facilities surveyed are providing full routine health services, according to OCHA.

Americares has been providing assistance to Lebanon since 1986, delivering medicine and medical supplies to support health services for refugees, disaster survivors and families in need. 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 and provides medicine and medical supplies to U.S.-based medical professionals traveling to Lebanon on medical missions. Over the past 34 years, Americares has provided more than $135 million in aid to support health services in Lebanon.

Americares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice and stocks emergency medicine and supplies in warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis. The organization responds to approximately 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities. Since its founding 40 years ago, Americares has provided more than $18 billion in aid to 164 countries, including the United States.

Donations to Americares Lebanon Crisis Fund will support its response to the explosion.

Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Azakir