Even before this explosion, the Lebanese economy was rapidly deteriorating, and many struggled to afford essentials like food. The destruction of the country’s largest grain silos and extensive damage to Beirut’s port means severe shortages in Lebanon’s grain supply―an enormous challenge for a country that purchases almost all of its wheat from abroad. Dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases have created significant public health concerns. The explosion has only intensified Lebanon’s humanitarian needs, particularly food security.
Through MERATH, our partner located in Beirut, we are supporting the efforts of local churches as they provide assistance to affected families.
“The blast brought about a lot of damage all over,” says Pastor A*, a pastor of a local church. “Some people were injured with minor injuries; nevertheless, a lot of people had destruction to their property. What we are doing right now is trying to assess that gradually and see what we can do about that.”
The current crisis has affected the broader Lebanese population, yet one of the most at-risk groups is the refugee community. Lebanon is home to over 2 million―the highest proportion of refugees per capita of any country in the world. One in five people in Lebanon is a refugee, with the majority arriving from Syria.
For years, rising food prices have created widespread food insecurity among the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and we’ve provided humanitarian assistance to members of this community since 2013. We have walked alongside vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian families in Lebanon for many years and we will continue to do so during this difficult time.
Staff and volunteers have been tirelessly working over the weekend to provide meals and help to families in their recovery efforts.
“With the recent blast leaving so many people’s lives at stake—homeless, unable to fix simple things like changing window glass—and leaving families traumatized, I feel that whatever we can do as The Church to express God’s love and care to the community, I want to be doing it,” shares Pastor F, of another Beirut church.
Through our partner in Beirut, emergency assistance has, and will continue to, reach affected families. Please also pray for those in need and for local churches as they assist some of the most vulnerable.
*The full names of individuals in this story have been withheld for security and protection purposes.