On 4th August 2020, over 300,000 people were displaced from their homes in Lebanon as a large
amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of Beirut exploded. Authorities declared Beirut a
"disaster city" and imposed a two-week state of emergency. The explosion shook and destroyed
buildings and led to households without access to food and shelter. Families were forced to seek
temporary shelter with relatives and friends, or in schools or other public buildings.
This massive explosion in Lebanon has plunged the country into crisis, after it was already struggling
due to political instability, economic weaknesses and the outbreak of Covid-19. Before the explosion,
nearly 50% of people in Lebanon were living below the poverty line with COVID-19 exacerbating the
country’s financial crisis, and now Beirut governor Marwan Abboud has stated that as many as
300,000 people have been left homeless due to the explosion. Lebanon is also home to over 1
million Syrian refugees who have escaped war.
Thanks to your generous donations to SKT Welfare’s Lebanon appeal, our emergency response team
was able to help nearly 7,000 people with vital food and hygiene packs in their time of need.
Our team in Beirut distributed 800 food parcels, each containing rice, lentils, oil, beans, spaghetti,
noodles, tea, sugar, salt, tuna, sardine, hummus, cooked cheese, bread, mortadella, cheese, tomato
sauce, and water.
The particular port that has been damaged was responsible for 60% of the country’s import of food,
which raised major questions for how the country would survive. The explosion led to a
deterioration of hygiene as a result of the glass debris and dust, as well as the outbreak of COVID-19.
The 400 hygiene kits distributed to the affected families each included masks, spray sterilizer, touch
steriliser, front shield, and gloves.
While we are so grateful we were able to provide emergency assistance to those affected, we know
the people of Lebanon are still suffering. Our aim is to work with communities to help them rebuild
their lives and to strengthen and empower them.