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Beirut explosion: How to help

Lebanon is reeling from the aftermath of the blast. Here are some trusted organisations working on the ground
A wounded man is helped by a fireman near the scene of a massive explosion in Beirut on 4 August 2020 (AFP)

The explosion in Beirut’s port on Tuesday - which has killed at least 113 people and wounded thousands of others in the Lebanese capital - has shocked the world.

Beirut governor Marwan Aboud said on Wednesday that some 300,000 people were left homeless by the explosion, with half of the city damaged by the powerful shockwave.

The blast came as Lebanon has already been facing the dual threat of the coronavirus pandemic and a devastating economic crisis which has left half of the country under the poverty line.

Many outside of Lebanon are watching the devastation from afar, hoping to help. Meanwhile, residents of the country are calling for all funds to be directed to non-governmental organisations - as Lebanon’s political leadership is largely seen as responsible for the corruption and neglect that seemingly caused the devastation.

Here are a few local organisations recommended by people living in Lebanon, which deal both with emergency response and more long-term needs.

Lebanese Red Cross

The Lebanese Red Cross is volunteer-led and provides emergency relief in cases of natural and human disasters. Even before Tuesday’s tragedy, the organisation said some 20 percent of emergency calls it received went unanswered due to a lack of funds.

Donations can be made here.

Impact Lebanon

While restrictions on certain online payment services in Lebanon have affected how people can donate money from outside the country, “innovation incubator” Impact Lebanon has launched a fundraising page to raise donations for the Lebanese Red Cross and other vetted organisations.

The organisation has raised nearly £3mn (approximately $4mn) in less than a day.

Donations can be made here.

Offre-Joie Liban

Offre-Joie is currently providing shelter to families displaced by the explosion and organising volunteers to clean up and rehabilitate homes.

Donations can be made here.

Basmeh and Zeitooneh

Founded in 2012, Basmeh and Zeitooneh was originally created to help Syrian refugees in marginalised and underserved communities but has since expanded its efforts following the economic crisis.

The organisation is currently organising clean-up efforts in Beirut and donating water and food to those in need.

Donations can be made here.

Beit El Baraka

Beit El Baraka has made a name for itself in Lebanon by assisting the country’s impoverished and elderly.

The organisation is already working on providing shelter for those displaced, rehabilitating homes and accompanying families throughout the process of rebuilding their lives.

Donations can be made here.