Exactly one year ago, a devastating explosion in Beirut killed at least 200 people and injured around 6,500 people. Thousands of houses and buildings were severely damaged. The country was already mired in the worst economic crisis in decades. The Dutch Christian Emergency Relief Cluster joined forces to provide relief-aid. But one year later, many blast victims are still struggling.
The Dutch Christian Emergency Relief Cluster (Dorcas, EO Metterdaad, Tearfund, Help a Child, Woord & Daad and ZOA) immediately started providing emergency aid to the affected population. Through a joined fundraising campaign, the organisations raised 2.4 million euros to support the victims of the blast.
Immediately after the disaster, we handed out hot meals and provided 15,000 people with basic necessities, such as food and hygiene materials. After the first emergency aid, we stayed to help rebuild the affected area. We supported 2,000 Beirut residents to repair their homes, shops and other buildings by donating money, materials and skilled craftsmen.
In addition, last year we paid a lot of attention to psychosocial care. Both children and adults feel unsafe after the disaster. Many of the affected people originated from. The explosion was another traumatic event. By offering psychosocial therapy, we contribute to the processing of this trauma. 400 people receive trauma counseling. Jessy from Beirut says: “Our house was badly damaged. Fortunately, thanks to the financial support, we were able to restore it. My son and daughter have received psychosocial counseling to process the trauma. You really helped us!”
The work in Beirut is not yet over. Not all damage has been repaired, the economic situation is bad and the impact of the corona pandemic is great. The need among thousands of people is enormous. That is why the Dutch Christian Emergency Relief Cluster stays in Beirut to keep supporting the victims of the blast.