On August 4, 2020, two strong explosions at the Port of Beirut devastated central parts of the city. The blast resulted in more than 150 fatalities and 6000 injuries. Extensive infrastructural damage has left an estimated 300,000 people homeless and many health facilities, including hospitals, inoperable. Several humanitarian organizations have mobilized quickly to respond to the needs of those most affected.
This catastrophe comes on the heels of several multi-faceted crises facing the country, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which had already put Lebanon’s health system, social services, and economy under severe strain. Today, more than 50% of the population is unemployed, a third of businesses have shuttered and many people are food insecure.
At the time of the outbreak, the country was managing civil unrest, major economic and financial crises, and hosting over a million refugees displaced by conflicts in the region. All of these crises have had a detrimental effect on Lebanon and have made access to food, education, health care, jobs and housing almost impossible.