Yet Another Explosion in Lebanon. What More Can We Endure?

Lebanon has had yet another horrible disaster. On early Sunday morning, August 15, a fuel tank exploded in Akkar, one of the poorest areas of the country. The causes are still under investigation, but the explosion left 28 people dead and injured nearly 100 others.

Akkar, Lebanon | August 15, 2021: Smoke billows from trucks that were set on fire by angry people near the house of the owner of the fuel tanks that exploded last night in the village of Talil. The exact cause of the blast is still being determined, but the army had seized the fuel tanks that were hidden by black marketers and was handing out gasoline to residents desperate to fill containers with the precious commodity when the tragedy happened. [Getty Images]

This has happened at a time when the economy has collapsed, we have no functioning government, there is only a couple of hours of electricity a day, and medicines are running out everywhere.

Today, I went to the Rafik Hariri University Hospital distribution center, where we collaborated with the International Medical Corps to assemble and send a shipment of urgently needed antibiotics for the Akkar patients. Rafik Hariri University Hospital and the International Committee of the Red Cross are opening a burn unit and we will be supplying them with antibiotics as well as other medicines and medical supplies.

It makes me speechless when I think about how terrible things just pile on top of each other in Lebanon. When we think things have reached rock bottom, it gets worse. This latest explosion comes only a year after the cataclysmic one in Beirut. The country is still recovering from that, and then this happens.

We are in survival mode. One of our most critical needs right now is fuel. It is stopping everything. Vehicles can’t move. Bakeries can’t bake. Hospitals are even threatening to close down entirely, because they can’t run their equipment. It’s a life-threatening situation.

Beirut is in darkness, as fuel in Lebanon becomes scarcer than ever and long electricity cuts the norm. Rami Paul Rizk, photographer.

Poverty and food security are at their worst. Prices are so high that about 70% of the population can’t afford to buy food. People are really hungry and desperate. In the meantime, jobs are hard to find and the Lebanese pound has lost its value. And, before you know it, it will be winter.

In the past year, Anera, with help from donors like you, has distributed 85 shipments of medicines and medical supplies. We delivered 21,820 food parcels to vulnerable families across Lebanon. Our programs created 2,600 paid on-the-job training positions for youths in our vocational education classes to help in their communities. They sewed 1.6 million facemasks and helped repair 1,200 homes and businesses in Beirut.

I am appealing to you, our wonderful Anera supporters, to help continue our hard work in Lebanon. The needs are enormous and you can make a real impact.

  • $75 will deliver enough food to feed a family of five for one month. Anera identifies the most vulnerable households to receive this vital aid. Alleviate people’s hunger now>>

I have run out of adjectives to describe just how bad things are here in Lebanon. What gives me heart is the work we do here with your help. Though you’re likely exhausted by all of the appeals for help coming out of the Middle East, I ask you to stick with us right now. We really need you in our corner.

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