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UN and partners respond to disaster in Lebanon with immediate deployments and assessments

05 Aug 2020

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The first search and rescue teams are en route to provide emergency assistance to people affected by the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, with coordination support from INSARAG. Credit: INSARAG

The United Nations is working closely with the Lebanese Government to support all ongoing response efforts related to the explosion in Beirut yesterday, particularly in the delivery of emergency medical assistance.

Support for the existing hospitals and trauma response capacity is a top priority for the UN. The World Health Organization (WHO) is working closely with the Lebanese Ministry of Health to conduct an assessment of hospital facilities in Beirut, their functionality and needs for additional support, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specialists are being dispatched to Beirut at the moment to assist in the emergency response, both from the UN and from multiple Member States. Experts from the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) are among those en route to support urban search and rescue operations. These teams are also equipped to conduct rapid assessments about the situation on the ground and help coordinate emergency response activities.


A team from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) assesses the blast site at the port of Beirut, Lebanon. Credit: UNIFIL

The UN is looking at all options to ways to provide financial assistance to support ongoing response efforts.

The UN is also looking carefully at the immediate implications of the explosion at the port for ongoing response activities, both in Lebanon and in Syria. Efforts to ensure sustained operations will be made in close coordination with Lebanese authorities.

Further assessments about the humanitarian needs following the explosion are under way. Additional information will be made public to help coordinate ongoing relief efforts.