UNICEF is sad and shocked at Beirut explosions, concerned about wellbeing of children, and supporting partners on the ground | UNICEF Canada: For Every Child Skip to main content
Publication Date: 2020/08/05

BEIRUT, 5 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 4,000 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.  

“Yesterday’s 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. 

“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. 

Statement from Ms. Yukie Mokuo UNICEF Representative in Lebanon  

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UNICEF is the world’s leading humanitarian organization focused on children. We work in the most challenging areas to provide protection, healthcare and immunizations, education, safe water and sanitation and nutrition. As part of the United Nations, our unrivaled reach spans more than 190 countries and territories, ensuring we are on the ground to help the most disadvantaged children. While part of the UN system, UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations to finance our live-saving work. Please visit unicef.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For further information:

Emily O’Connor Communications Manager EOconnor@unicef.ca 416 482-6552 x8866 / 647-500-4230