Massive Explosions Devastate Beirut - CARE
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Massive Explosions Devastate Beirut

Smoke and the frames of destroyed buildings.

Photo: Elizabeth Fitt/Alamy Live News

Photo: Elizabeth Fitt/Alamy Live News

Deadly double blasts obliterate the city’s port and country’s tenuous food supply.

More than 100 people were killed yesterday in two explosions that rocked Beirut, Lebanon’s capital city, largest port, and lifeline for the country. Thousands more were injured. Details about the cause are still unfolding.

The deadly double blast destroyed grain silos containing critical food supplies. Only 10% of Lebanon’s food supply is domestic. On Tuesday, 85% of the food stock stored at the port was lost in the explosions. The port’s destruction will cause further supply chain disruptions, making it even more difficult to reach the most vulnerable with humanitarian aid.

“We will rebuild, but tonight we are absolutely devastated.”

Thousands of injured overwhelmed Beirut’s hospitals, which were already at capacity due to COVID-19. Medics had to treat people wherever they could – in hotels, car parks, and veterinary clinics.

of the food stock stored at the port destroyed

of the food stock stored at the port destroyed

CARE staff in the city is safe but shaken and have already begun addressing the most urgent needs to provide critical hygiene items, psychosocial support, and more for those impacted.

“Our hearts are breaking for Lebanon tonight. This horrific explosion is going to further overrun our overwhelmed hospitals, as cases of COVID-19 have tripled over the last month. People are already suffering from the collapse of our economy, with LBP losing 90% of its value since September. We will rebuild, but tonight we are absolutely devastated,” said Bujar Hoxha, CARE Lebanon Country Director.

Lebanon’s economic problems have been building for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the country’s decline into its worst financial crisis in decades. Inflation has reached record levels and half of the population is struggling to put food on the table. Essential items such as milk, rice and sugar have tripled in price and become unaffordable for many Lebanese.

The humanitarian situation in Lebanon warrants immediate attention and response from the international community.

“What is happening today in Lebanon is much more than a socio-economic crisis, it is a real humanitarian crisis. Having access to food is now a challenge for more than 50% of the population. We see people rummaging through garbage cans for food. Groups have formed on Facebook where people exchange clothes for diapers for their babies, others exchange their furniture, their children’s toys for a little money to eat. The situation is really dire,” Hoxha said.