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UN CERF releases US$6 million for Beirut blast response

07 Aug 2020

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Credit: OCHA

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock has released $6 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help the response to the Beirut port blast, bringing the total UN funding for this crisis to $15 million. 

The allocation will fund trauma care and other urgent support to hospitals, shelter assistance for the most vulnerable people affected by the explosion, and logistical support.

It comes on top of $9 million in funding that was released from the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund by the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, Ms. Najat Rochdi, within 36 hours of the blast. This funding will address primary health needs and provide food assistance to those most vulnerable.

The Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, said: “this blast ripped through a country already facing civil unrest, economic hardship, the coronavirus outbreak, and a heavy burden from the Syrian refugee crisis. Despite everything, the people of Lebanon have remained generous hosts to millions of Syrian refugees and a beacon of humanity for us all.” 

The UN and its partners are urgently working to continue to assess the situation and mobilize emergency assistance.

The international donor community has dispatched relief supplies, mobile medical teams and field hospitals to support the medical response. The Lebanese Red Cross has mobilized up to 75 ambulances and 375 medical teams and staff to Beirut to help the most vulnerable and activated blood transfusion centres around the country.

Available food, medical, water and sanitation and relief items are being reprogrammed to assist affected populations. Local NGOs already on the ground are being identified to support in providing parcels or hot meals. Counselling and mental health clinics are being established to assist survivors.

More supplies are arriving each day to support operations. Three cargo flights with WFP food supplies are due to arrive in Beirut in the coming days.

Against this backdrop, COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, with 225 new cases confirmed as of yesterday, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 5,672, including 70 deaths and 1,974 recoveries. Health organizations are working to maintain COVID-19 services.

More information on donations is available online.