The explosion that tore through Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 137 people and injuring thousands more, was just the latest disaster to hit the Lebanese people.
The country was already struggling with an economic catastrophe, a population falling into poverty, a Lebanese pound that had lost 80% of its value since October, banks that allowed only limited cash withdrawals and a barely functioning power grid that provided electricity two or three hours a day.
U.S. & World
Tuesday’s destruction of swaths of the capital is being blamed on 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer stored for six years in a warehouse at the port. It caught fire and exploded.
The United States, France, Israel and Qatar have sent humanitarian aid to Lebanon.
Here are some organizations that are providing help.
Lebanese Red Cross
More than 100 of the Red Cross’ ambulances responded to the explosion to transport critically wounded people to hospitals. It is taking part in search and rescue operations, providing emergency shelter for 1,000 families and anticipates adding up to 10,000 families in the coming months, and is distributing food, water, hygiene kits, masks and other essentials, it says. For updates follow the Lebanese Red Cross on Twitter: @RedCrossLebanon. You can donate here.
Lebanese Food Bank
A nonprofit organization founded in 2012, it collects surplus food from restaurants, hotels, caterers, supermarkets and food importers and exporters. Here is it on Instagram.
A non-sectarian, nonprofit group, it is crowdfunding to help those affected by the explosion. It is coordinating with other charities and says it will update its page will details on how the money is spent. You can donate here.
The organization was launched to provide housing for medical professionals — in unused AirBnBs, hotels and apartments — while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic so they would not have to worry about exposing their families. It is now raising funds with Impact Lebanon to help the more than 300,000 displaced by the explosion.
Islamic Relief USA
The organization was already providing food to Lebanese in need, supplies to refugee families living in camps, among them an influx of Syrians, and funding for heart surgeries for children. The port was a major entry for food. More about Tuesday's devastation. More about the organization’s work here.
United Nations World Food Program
Up to 80 percent of Lebanon's food is imported, previously through the destroyed port, and between October and April, the country saw a 56% increase in food prices, according to the World Food Program. You can donate here.
Started in 2013 in affiliation with the American University of Beirut Medical Center, Embrace is now an independent nonprofit organization that launched a national suicide prevention helpline in Lebanon. You can donate here.
The nonprofit group was launched during Lebanon’s civil war to foster a sense of solidarity in the country. It had created a food bank in April to help those hurt by the economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic and is now rallying volunteers to help rebuild. You can donate here.
The United Nations’ children’s fund estimates it will need $4.4 million for children and families following the explosion. It is distributing critical supplies, including personal protective equipment to health care workers and survivors of the blast, as well as medication, mattresses, blankets, towels, hygiene kits and drinking water. You can donate here.