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SITUATION UPDATE

UNICEF has been on the ground working in Lebanon since 1948, scaling up our programs to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis and COVID-19. Our efforts further multiplied as we launched into action in response to the terrifying explosion that ripped through Beirut leaving at least 180 dead, more than 6,500 injured and some 300,000 without a place to live.

Lebanon was already in the midst of one of the worst economic crises in decades — with massive unemployment, widespread hunger, daily power cuts, a lack of safe drinking water and limited public healthcare.

Then COVID-19 hit.

The pandemic has pushed even more families into unemployment and hunger. In fact, one in five Lebanese families missed meals or went without food for a whole day. Half are worried that they will not have enough to eat. And now, the Beirut explosion threatens to worsen this food insecurity.

The need is urgent. 

An expert in emergency response, UNICEF is a recognized and trusted partner on the ground. Children are especially vulnerable in an emergency and we must act now.

The good news is that through a $25,000 match provided by Leon’s Furniture, every dollar you donate up to $25,000 today will go twice as far to provide emergency aid.

The dangers children are facing in Lebanon

  • About a thousand children were among the injured from the explosion.
  • Some injured children were separated from their families.
  • Children and families need access to primary healthcare for both their health and to reduce further spread of COVID-19 while hospitals and health centres are repaired.
  • Many households do not have access to a clean water supply because of damage to the connections between water sources and buildings.
  • Public and private schools, technical and vocational education, and training schools have been damaged.
  • Children are among the 300,000 who have lost their homes.
  • Children are coping with trauma from the explosion and require psychosocial first aid.

How your donation will help children

1. Keep children safe.

2. Rehabilitate the basic essential services that keep children safe.

3. Deliver food, water and more for children and families in need.

4. Help rebuild the country for the future of the children.

How is UNICEF responding to the tragedy in Lebanon?

UNICEF has been responding rapidly to meet the urgent needs of children caught in the tragedy of the Beirut explosion and the uncertain conditions throughout Lebanon. In fact, the Government of Canada recently recognized UNICEF as a critical partner in the Beirut response with a $2.5 million donation to support emergency relief efforts. This is in addition to our ongoing support from the Government of Canada as a trusted partner in responding to COVID19 and the refugee and economic crises.

Because of donor support we have already been able to:  Replace damaged PPE and other medical products, and procure critical supplies that health services require, including 3.5 million surgical masks; 17,370 N95 masks; 2.6m pairs of gloves; 124,810 gowns; along with thousands of face shields, coveralls, boot covers, head covers and goggles

  • Transport medicines and vaccines.
  • Provide precautionary tetanus vaccination shots for the injured.
  • Move infants and children to safer hospital locations
  • Deliver water to port workers, first responders and victims. 
  • Distribute water, hygiene supplies, infection prevention materials and baby kits to families in temporary shelters. 
  • Reunite children separated from their families. 
  • Provide psychosocial support for those dealing with shock, trauma and bereavement.  At least 675 children and caregivers have been reached so far.
  • Work with volunteer youth to provide affected families with support for cleaning and cooking and minor repairs. They have already reached around 14,000 households.
  • Work with partners to help provide emergency cash assistance for the most vulnerable families.
  • Work with partners to address increased health and education needs of children and families resulting from damaged healthcare facilities and schools.
  • Rehabilitate damaged healthcare facilities, schools and water connections.

Your help in Lebanon is needed now

This has become a triple emergency. Half of the population was already living in poverty before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down business and put even more families out of work. Hospitals and health services were already stretched to the breaking point when the explosion rocked Beirut and the entire country. Children are especially vulnerable and need our continued response.

The need is great. Our goal over the next 90 days is to reach 100,000 children with support and assistance that will take $46.7 million dollars. That’s why your immediate help is important — to keep children in Lebanon safe amidst the ongoing crisis.

“The destruction is hard to fathom. And it happened in a context of an already collapsed economy, political instability and a surge in COVID-19 cases. From the outset, UNICEF has been with the Lebanese people, working to protect children and the health, water and education facilities that keep them safe.” - Violet Speek-Warnery, UNICEF Lebanon Deputy Representative

Through a $25,000 match, your gift today to UNICEF will go TWICE AS FAR to give help to children and their families in dire, immediate need and facing an uncertain future.