After an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, this relief project focused on cleaning up debris from the blast, helping families rebuild their homes, and supporting local businesses in the midst of economic hardship.
In August 2020, an explosion in the Port of Beirut led to 70,000 damaged homes and 300,000 people experiencing homelessness. This occurred in the midst of a global pandemic and a country-wide economic crisis where over 30% of the Lebanese population was already experiencing financial uncertainty due to joblessness.
THE PROBLEM AND THE SOLUTION
The blast caused immense destruction throughout the city and displaced many families who weren’t able to remain in their homes until the damage was assessed and repaired. Much of the destruction entailed blown out windows, damage to window frames, and cracked or destroyed walls due to the intensity of the blast. Many home appliances were also damaged or destroyed. Our local partners sought to meet the needs of the most vulnerable families by cleaning up debris from the initial blast, replacing windows and frames, repairing and painting walls, and replacing appliances.
In addition to the destruction of homes, many businesses were also affected as they were not able to reopen until repairs were completed. Our partners gave financial gifts to struggling businesses in the area to help them survive during this time of forced closures.
Our partners spent a week cleaning in the streets, meeting families in the most devastated areas of Beirut, and assessing the damage to their homes. After the week of assessment and planning, the team collected volunteers to begin repairing the homes. In addition, our partners gave $500 gifts to businesses that were affected by the blast.
Families were already struggling with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic when the explosion hit, leading to even more devastation than they could have prepared for. Homes and livelihoods were destroyed in the midst of an already dire time. The desired impact of this relief project was to provide aid to families who lost their homes as well as businesses that were forced to close due to the damage. By helping families rebuild their homes and businesses, they were able to reinvest in their communities and renew hope in a place where it was once lost. Along with our local partners, our priority was to show families in Beirut that they were not alone in the midst of this tragedy.
- 200 homes were rebuilt.
- Three businesses were restored.