Press Release

After Beirut blast, Anera responds with medical shipments and repairs to damaged housing

Anera has raised $450,000 of an estimated $1.5 million budget for immediate response.

August 11, 2020 | Beirut, Lebanon – Anera has 60 staff in Lebanon mobilizing relief efforts and helping to rebuild after explosions at the port of Beirut killed and injured thousands of people, forced more than 300,000 from their homes, and left a large part of the city damaged or destroyed. Two days after the blast, our team in Lebanon conducted a quick impact assessment to identify and target the most urgent needs facing the victims of the explosion. Based on the information gathered, and in coordination with donors and other relief organizations, Anera has prioritized home and community rehabilitation, food, and provision of medicines and medical supplies as key focus areas in our response.

Anera is prioritizing areas in Beirut that were already economically vulnerable, and then suffered the most from the blast, such as Karantina, En Nahr, Bourj Hammoud, Zkak El Blat, Basta Al Tahta, Beydon, and disadvantaged parts of Achrafieh and Ras Al Nabaa.

  • REHABILITATING HOMES, HEALTH FACILITIES and SCHOOLS: Anera will rehabilitate mildly-to-moderately damaged homes and other structures (broken windows, doors, roofs, etc.), allowing the most vulnerable displaced persons to return home as quickly as possible. Top priority will be given to women-headed families with young children.
  • MEDICAL DONATIONS: Our medical donations team is working with Americares, DirectRelief, HPIC, Heart-to-Heart and International Health Partners on six shipments of medical supplies to be air freighted from the US and UK to Lebanon. Shipments include emergency supplies, medicines and personal protection equipment against COVID-19, as cases rise.
  • DISTRIBUTING RELIEF ITEMS: Our staff are organizing clean-up efforts as well as distributions of water, food, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, masks and gloves to families and others who are picking up the pieces after the tragic explosion.

Beirut and all of Lebanon is reeling. The blast was one of the largest in world history, and hit a country and its capital at a time when most residents were already suffering from electricity blackouts, unsafe water, unemployment, poverty, food insecurity, a banking crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with blast damage including destruction of supplies and warehouses, all of that is even worse.

“This catastrophe has left everyone very fragile.” said Samar El-Yassir, Anera Lebanon country director. “The situation has taken us back to the civil war. The city now looks like it did after 17 years of warfare – loss of life, loss of property, devastation all around. Beirut needs your help more than ever!”

Anera has raised $450,000 of an estimated $1.5 million budget for its immediate response. The six shipments of donated medicines and health care supplies that we are coordinating are worth tens of millions of dollars. Funding for Anera’s response to the Beirut explosions comes from thousands of individual donors from around the globe as well as institutional donors such as UNICEF, UNHCR, Direct Relief, and Muslim Aid-USA.

Anera President and CEO Sean Carroll said: “We are heartened by the outpouring of support, and hope it keeps coming because we know the needs. And our team on the ground knows how to meet those needs effectively and cost-efficiently.”

Over the past weekend, Anera staff from across Lebanon, along with partner UNICEF staff and volunteers, gathered in Beirut for a Day for Service to do clean-up and begin rehabilitation. This week we are distributing personal protective equipment to local organizations, and starting to rehabilitate health care centers, homes and small businesses.

Anera volunteers cleaning streets in the wake of the Beirut explosions

Anera mobilized 200 volunteers on Sunday, August 9 to clean debris from the streets of Beirut.

About Anera
Since 1968, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Jordan. We mobilize resources for immediate humanitarian relief and for sustainable health, education, and economic development efforts. Our staff are from the communities they serve, navigating the politics that constrict progress to get help where it’s needed most. We will keep building better lives until hope finds its way in the Middle East.