Yesterday, the world was shaken after half of the Lebanese capital was damaged beyond recognition by a devastating blast which killed at least 100 people, injured more than 4,000 others and left up to 300,000 homeless. Officials expect the death toll to rise further as emergency workers dig through the rubble to search for survivors.
Muslim Aid is shocked by the news, images and videos coming out of Beirut and our deepest thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by the incident.
We are reminded during these difficult times of the hadith of our Prophet (pbuh) “The Muslim ummah is like one body, if one part is in pain, then the whole body should feel that pain.” (Bukhari)
President Michel Aoun said the Beirut explosion was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse. While an investigation is underway to understand the circumstances of what happened, our immediate concern is the survivors. Muslim Aid is pleased to learn that the government has pledged to release 100 billion lira (£50.5m; $66m) of emergency funding to help support those affected by the Lebanon blast.
We want to also reassure our donors that our Country Office in Lebanon has not been impacted and our team are monitoring the situation so we can establish an effective needs assessment and potential response.
Our field office in Lebanon has been providing aid and development programmes to help both hosts and hosted communities improve their lives for over 13 years. These include:
Educational projects: to remove barriers to education for disadvantaged children and young people.
Healthcare: including vaccination programmes, screening and health awareness.
WASH: providing water and sanitation to damaged homes and to refugee camps.
Emergency: relief aid to respond the immediate needs of those who have lost everything and are vulnerable or injured.
Last year we provided treatment to 3,000 mothers and young children, saving their lives and improving their health. This included:
Prenatal and neonatal care services: for mothers and their babies, including nutrition and specialist maternity and paediatric services.
Primary healthcare for children up to age 14: to combat disease and malnutrition, including vaccinations, thereby improving child life-expectancy and reducing the spread of illness.
As our teams assess the appropriate response to the Beirut explosion, we would like to remind our donors that by donating to our global emergency fund, you can help Muslim Aid respond to disasters like the Lebanon blast quickly and effectively, as we have done in the past 35 years serving humanity.