Wounded children are treated at a hospital following the explosion.
Hong Kong / Beirut, 6 August 2020— UNICEF is saddened at the loss of life following the horrific explosions in Lebanon. According to latest reports, the death toll could be as high as 100, with 5,000 wounded and over 300,000 people displaced. UNICEF is concerned that children are among the casualties and we are aware that those who survived are traumatized and under shock.
Our hearts are with children and families who have been impacted, especially those who lost their loved ones. We wish a speedy recovery to the injured.
UNICEF’s team in Beirut has not been spared. One of our colleagues lost his spouse, seven of our staff were mildly injured and dozens of personnel’s homes were damaged. Most of our staff- as are most people in Lebanon- are in a state of shock.
UNICEF is coordinating very closely with authorities and partners on the ground to respond to the needs including of health and other front-line workers. We have provided drinking water to staff at the Beirut port and are supporting the Ministry of Public Health to take out what is left of stored medicines and vaccines in a warehouse at the port. Child protection partners are providing psycho-social support to affected children across the city. Over the coming days, we will increase our efforts to reach families in need with much needed assistance.
The catastrophe in Beirut adds to what has already been a terrible crisis for the people of Lebanon compounded by an economic collapse and a surge in COVID-19 cases. The pandemic already meant that hospitals are overwhelmed, and front-line workers are exhausted.
We are expecting to provide hygiene supplies to help families stay healthy especially in light of the COVID pandemic and early indications show that there are some 10 containers full of vital ‘Personal Protective Equipment’ (PPE) which are critical to Lebanon’s COVID response caught up in the blast.
UNICEF confirms its commitment towards the people of Lebanon, the authorities and all partners on the ground. We are on the ground and will do everything possible to provide much needed assistance today and in the long run.
Here in Hong Kong, we appeal to the public for donation through a designated webpage set up by UNICEF HK. Please support UNICEF’s work to save Lebanese children and families impacted by explosions: https://bit.ly/unicefhk_lebanon-c
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