Home Donors, Volunteers Organizations Deadly explosion in Beirut: How to help to the victims in Lebanon – USA TODAY

Deadly explosion in Beirut: How to help to the victims in Lebanon – USA TODAY

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People around the world were horrified by the massive explosion in Beirut on Tuesday. In addition to more than 135 people who were killed and 5,000 who were wounded, up to 200,000 could now be homeless in Lebanon – which is in the midst of an economic crises.

Many individuals want to contribute.

Here’s how you can help

  • Donate to the Lebanese Red Cross, which dispatched ambulances from around the country to Beirut to help with rescuing and evacuating patients. They also set up triage and first aid stations.
  • Donate to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) in Lebanon. Already in Beirut, MSF staff went to health facilities to assist medics in the aftermath of the explosion.
  • Donate to the disaster relief fundraiser by Impact Lebanon, a non-profit organization pursing initiatives to better Lebanon. 
  • Working closely with the Lebanese Red Cross, the British and Canadian Red Cross is also raising money for Beirut to “save lives right now and help people recover.” 
  • Donner Sang Compter (DSC) is a Lebanese NGO people can donate to to help Beirut. 
  • Donate to Islamic Relief’s Lebanon Emergency Appeal. 
  • Donate to Lebanon Children’s Relief Fund from Save the Children.
  • Write to your congressional representatives urging Congress to send aid to Lebanon. 
  • Volunteer to help Lebanese communities in your area, as many are reeling, trying to reach loved ones.

How organizations are helping

Numerous international and local organizations, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, are raising funds and sending aid to Beirut.

“The U.S. Government and the American people extend our deepest condolences to all those affected by this horrific event.  We stand with the people of Lebanon and have committed to provide immediate aid during this difficult time,” Pooja Jhunjhunwala, the acting USAID spokesperson, said.

USAID is providing immediate humanitarian aid and will have disaster experts in the region continue to monitor the impact of the explosion to coordinate with the U.S. Embassy, USAID’s Mission in Beirut and Lebanese authorities. 

The organization also provides support to several hospitals in Lebanon, including the American University of Beirut Medical Center, which is serving as one of the main triage center for victims of the explosion. 

“What we can say today is the situation in Beirut is still completely catastrophic,” Emmanuel Massart, the coordinator of Médecins Sans Frontiéres operations in Lebanon, said today in a MSF network update. 

Christos Christou, the international president of MSF, tweeted that the organization was organizing donations of wound kits and evaluating whether patients needing further medical attention could be referred and treated at their hospitals.

“As MSF, what we have done so far is that we have started to do donation kits of trauma kits to different hospitals receiving wounded yesterday night,” Massart said. “We are setting up emergency and rapid response teams … and we are also increasing our surgical capacities in one of the hospitals we are running in order to decrease the burden that the hospitals of Beirut have on their shoulders today.”   

Union of Relief and Development Association (URDA), a Lebanese non-governmental organizations dedicated to human rights to the most vulnerable in Lebanon, is also raising money for its Beirut Explosion Relief Fund and is asking Lebanese citizens to “donate blood in medical centers and hospitals to help the injured throughout Beirut” on their website. 

Donner Sang Compter, a Lebanese NGO that promotes blood donations as a humanitarian and national cause in Lebanon, is raising money for Beirut as well as finding blood donors for hospitals in need of blood. DSC tweeted today that blood banks were now full due to the volunteer response in Beirut yesterday.  

Another NGO, Islamic Relief, is also taking donations and will focus on giving out prepared meals, hygiene kits and health assistance those in urgent need of assistance. 

“In a few days, we will also start helping to clear the streets of the debris caused by the blast, providing people currently out of work with cash to help out. Longer-term we will need to continue providing food parcels, as the seaport has been destroyed, meaning food imports will be significantly reduced to a country that is already on its knees,” Nidal Ali, the Islamic Relief Lebanon country director, said in a statement on their website. 

How nations are helping:

France 

France says it is sending two planes with dozens of emergency workers, a mobile medical unit and 15 tons of aid. French President Emmanuel Macron’s office says the aid should allow for the treatment of some 500 victims.

French peacekeepers stationed in Lebanon, a former French protectorate, have been helping since the explosions, Macron’s office said.

Macron will travel to Lebanon on Thursday to offer support and meet with Lebanese political leaders. 

French emergency workers include members of a special unit with chemical and other technological expertise trained to intervene in damaged industrial sites. Among their tasks will be to identify specific risks for products stored in the area and other risks resulting from the explosion, national civil security spokesman Michael Bernier says. The 55 French workers also include disaster response experts, emergency nurses, doctors and firefighters.

European Union

The European Union is activating its civil protection system to round up emergency workers and equipment from across the 27-nation bloc to help Beirut.

The EU commission says the plan is to urgently dispatch over 100 firefighters with vehicles, sniffer dogs and equipment designed to find people trapped in urban areas. The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Poland and the Netherlands are taking part.

The EU’s satellite mapping system will help Lebanese authorities to establish the extent of the damage. Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic says the EU “shares the shock and sadness” of Beirut residents and stands ready to provide extra help.

Germany

Germany has dispatched dozens of search and rescue specialists to Lebanon to help in the race to find survivors trapped beneath rubble following Tuesday’s explosion in Beirut.

About 50 staff of Germany’s THW civil protection organization flew out of Frankfurt late Wednesday with search dogs and 15 tons of equipment to locate people below collapsed buildings.

Timo Eilhardt, THW’s chief of operations, said there is normally a good chance of finding survivors more than 72 hours after a disaster, “which means we can expect to find people for another two to three days.”

Russia

Russia’s Ministry for Emergencies says that its first plane carrying relief teams, doctors and medical equipment has landed in Beirut.

The ministry said Wednesday the aircraft has delivered a mobile hospital along with 50 emergency workers and medical personnel. Another three Russian flights are scheduled to arrive within the next 24 hours. They will carry equipment for a coronavirus testing lab and protective gear, among other relief supplies.

The airlift follows a request for help from the Lebanese authorities faced with the aftermath of the massive explosion that devastated Beirut.

Brazil

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro extended his condolences to Lebanon at an event on Wednesday and highlighted that the South American nation is home to millions of Lebanese people. He added his administration intended to provide aid, without specifying how.

“Brazil will do more than a gesture. Something concrete to attend, in part, to those tens of thousands of people who are in a rather complicated situation because, in addition to injuries, many homes were hit,” Bolsonaro said.

On Tuesday, he said on Twitter that because Brazil is home to the world’s largest Lebanese population, the tragedy feels as though it happened on Brazilian soil.

Brazil already has a ship on a peace mission in Lebanon. The defense ministry previously said it would remove the vessel by the end of this year, citing budgetary restrictions.

The Lebanese consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, said in a statement it is in the process of asking local authorities to provide assistance. All fundraising must be “swift and transparent,” it said.

Britain 

Britain is promising a $6.6 million humanitarian support package for Lebanon following Tuesday’s devastating explosion in Beirut.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Wednesday that search and rescue teams and expert medical support are ready to be sent. He added that a Royal Navy ship already in the area can also be deployed to help assess the damage to Beirut’s port.

Raab said he spoke Wednesday to Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, who he said promised a “full, thorough and rigorous” investigation into the blast, and accountability for those responsible.

Palestine

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are participating in a blood donation drive to try and help victims of the explosion in Beirut that has wounded thousands.

Dozens took part in a blood drive in the city of Khan Younis on Wednesday, which was sponsored by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. Organizers said they will coordinate with the International Committee of the Red Cross to try to get the blood donations delivered to Lebanon.

“I donated my blood in a moment of loyalty to the Lebanese people,” said Khan Younis resident Abu Diab Ouida.

The Gaza Strip has been under a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade since 2007. It remains unclear whether the donated blood will be able to reach Lebanon.

Hungary

The Hungarian government says it is donating 1 million euros ($1.2 million) for rescue, salvage and reconstruction efforts in Lebanon.

The donation to be made through the Hungary Helps program, which provides assistance mainly to charities of Christian churches and other religious organizations around the world, will be given to Lebanon’s Maronite Church.

State Secretary Tristan Azbej said Wednesday that “the good friend is known in trouble and the Hungarians are good friends of the Lebanese people.”

Tunisia 

Tunisian President Kaïs Saied has ordered the dispatch of two military planes loaded with medical equipment, medicine and food to Lebanon following the deadly Beirut port explosion.

A statement from the presidency Wednesday said that the Tunisian head of state gave instructions to ministers of defense Imad Hazgui and interim Social Affairs and Health Minister Mohamed Habib K’chaou, to deliver this aid “urgently.”

According to the statement, a team of Tunisian doctors and nurses will also be sent to Lebanon to help treat the wounded, 100 of whom will be flown back to Tunisia aboard the two planes to be treated in Tunisian hospitals.

The Tunisian president sent a note of condolence to his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun on Tuesday, in which he assured him of Tunisia’s support and solidarity in this ordeal.

Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has extended his condolences to the Lebanese people and repeated an offer to send humanitarian aid to the country.

Netanyahu addressed lawmakers in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Wednesday and said the Israeli government stood ready to assist the Lebanese “as human beings to human beings.” Netanyahu on Tuesday reached out to the UN to offer aid through indirect channels.

Opposition lawmakers heckled the prime minister during his remarks, and several were ejected from the Knesset hall.

Israel and Lebanon remain officially in a state of war and do not have formal diplomatic relations.

Norway

Norway is offering 25 million kroner ($2.74 million) and 40 tons of medical equipment to Lebanon after the huge explosion in the harbor of the Lebanese capital.

“The situation is pretty confusing right now. In the coming days we will know more about what is needed in the long-term,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide told reporters on Wednesday.

She said the Norwegian embassy in Beirut suffered damage in the explosion but all staff members were safe. She said there is no indication of Norwegian citizens being injured in Tuesday’s blast.

Turkey

Turkey is sending search and rescue teams along with emergency medical personnel to aid Lebanon in the aftermath of a devastating explosion.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Wednesday that Turkey also is preparing a field hospital, humanitarian aid, medical equipment and medicine for use in Beirut.

“We will continue giving Lebanon all support with the hope that these difficult days will be overcome as soon as possible through solidarity and cooperation,” the spokesman said.

Netherlands

A government minister says the Netherlands is sending a search and rescue team made up of police, firefighters, trauma doctors and nurses to help find survivors and victims of the huge blast in Beirut.

Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Sigrid Kaag told Dutch public broadcaster NPO Radio 1 the 67-strong team is leaving Wednesday evening “and will start work immediately.”

Kaag said one or two people were seriously wounded at the Netherlands’ Embassy and others suffered minor injuries as the diplomatic office suffered damage from the devastating explosion.

Kaag previously served as a United Nations under-secretary general in Lebanon and says she has friends there who are injured or have lost a home.

Gulf States

Gulf Arab states have offered various forms of support for Lebanon, though any sustained financial assistance is complicated by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group’s presence in government and on the ground.

Saudi-funded medical teams were dispatched from north Lebanon to Beirut to care for and to help transport the wounded on Tuesday, while a specialized team from a Saudi-funded medical center provided emergency health care services in the Lebanese capital, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

Kuwait and Qatar dispatched airplanes full of medical cargo. Qatari officials told The Associated Press that cargo from Doha included two large air-conditioned tents, kits for 1,000 beds, generators and diesel tanks, 50 ventilators, emergency medical supplies like first aid kits, gauze and needles, and medicine. A search and rescue team was also being sent to support.

Meanwhile, urgent medical and humanitarian supplies were being sent from the International Humanitarian City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Cyprus 

Cyprus’ foreign minister says two police helicopters are on their way to the Lebanese capital with 10 emergency response personnel and eight sniffer dogs to help locate survivors in the rubble of buildings destroyed in Tuesday’s massive blast.

Cyprus is approximately 120 miles (180 kilometers) away from Beirut, but the explosion was heard and felt by many on the east Mediterranean island nation.

Minister Nikos Christodoulides told The Associated Press that Cyprus will also dispatch additional rescue crews, paramedics, non-perishable food items, aluminum and glass that Lebanese authorities have requested. Cyprus will also send chartered flights to Lebanon to repatriate Cypriot citizens wishing to return home.

Indonesia

Indonesian peacekeepers have been contributing in the evacuation of victims of the explosion in Beirut. The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says in a statement that the Garuda Contingent, as a member of United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon, is helping in the aftermath.

Of the 1,447 Indonesian citizens registered as living in Lebanon, 1,234 are part of the UNIFIL mission, while 213 others are civilians. One Indonesian national was injured in the explosion.

Australia

Australia says it will donate 2 million Australian dollars ($1.4 million) in humanitarian support to Lebanon to help Beirut recover from Tuesday’s massive explosion.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne says in a statement the money will go to the World Food Program and the Red Cross to help ensure food, medical care and essential items are provided to those affected.

She says Australia and Lebanon have a strong relationship built on extensive community ties, and more than 230,000 Australians have Lebanese heritage.

An Australian was killed and the Australian Embassy in Lebanon was damaged in the explosion.

Iraq

Iraq’s Health Ministry spokesman says Baghdad will send six trucks of urgent medical supplies and an emergency medical team. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has offered condolences to Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab, according to a statement from his office.

Jordan and Egypt

Jordan says a military field hospital including all necessary personnel will be dispatched, according to the Royal Court. Egypt has opened a field hospital in Beirut to receive the wounded.

Czech Republic, Denmark and Greece

Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek says Lebanon has accepted an offer to send a team of 37 rescuers with sniffer dogs to Beirut. Denmark says it is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Lebanon, and Greece says it is ready to help Lebanese authorities “with all means at its disposal.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

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