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UN Launches $565 mn Appeal for Beirut Blast Victims

UN Launches $565 mn Appeal for Beirut Blast Victims

Saturday, 15 August, 2020 - 08:30
Buildings, damaged by an explosion at the Beirut port, stand in Karantina, Lebanon, August 13, 2020. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

The United Nations has launched an appeal to raise $565 million to help the Lebanese people affected by the August 4 Beirut Port blast recover.

The UN said in a statement Friday that the funds would be used to support Lebanon as it moves from immediate life-saving humanitarian relief towards rebuilding its shattered economy.

The explosion, which killed 172 people, flattened neighborhoods surrounding the port, leaving thousands homeless, damaged dozens of hospitals and clinics and destroyed more than 100 schools.

It also wounded at least 6,500 residents.

The explosion was caused by a huge stock of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse, and was widely blamed on state corruption.

"The task of rebuilding people's lives and recovering from the devastation is only just beginning," said Najat Rochdi, a UN humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon.

"I urge the international community to demonstrate their steadfast commitment to the people of Lebanon and repay in turn Lebanon's incredible generosity to Syrian and Palestine refugees with full financial support for this appeal," she added.

The UN said its appeal money would target improving food security, help the rebuilding of damaged hospitals and schools and provide cash for shelter for families whose homes were rendered uninhabitable.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the money will enable the UN's humanitarian partners “to help people in need by targeting food security, health, shelter and protection, as well as water and sanitation hygiene support.”

The UN humanitarian office said the appeal will target:

—Immediate delivery of hot meals, food rations and grain supplies.

—Rehabilitation of damaged health facilities and provision of trauma kits and essential medicines.

—Cash for shelter for families whose homes were damaged or destroyed and for repairs of common building areas and facilities affected by the blast.

—Repair of schools and provision of educational supplies and psychological support for children.

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