Beirut, December, 2020:
The 4th of August port explosion has had a tremendous impact on Beirut’s community. Hundreds of thousands of people needed immediate help. Civil society organizations instantly assisted the community by providing them with basic necessities. Today, around 4 months after the tragic event that shattered Beirut, thousands of people are still greatly affected physically as well as mentally.
As part of their Beirut Emergency Response Plan and with more Lebanese people in need than ever before, Nusaned launched a program called ‘Goods in Need for Beirut’ with the goal of aiding the affected citizens. The “Goods in Need for Beirut” program includes distributing basic goods to the community to help them transition out of crisis and into a sustainable livelihood. Throughout the past few months, the organization has played an important role in helping the affected community by providing food parcels, clothes, hygiene kits and promo codes.
In collaboration with “Save the Children”, Nusaned distributed 300 food parcels in the affected areas including Burj Hammoud, Rmeil, Geitawi, Mar Mikhael and others. Also, in collaboration with “Care”, 736 food parcels were given out in Ras el Nabaa, Kaskas, Bourj Abi Haidar, Salim Slam and Basta. To date, Nusaned has delivered over 7500 hot meals and 19,000 bread loaves to help families get back on their feet.
Nusaned did not limit their efforts to providing food, but also widened the scope of their work by offering clothes, hygiene kits, toys and even face shields to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Following the explosion, a total of 40 families affected by the blast benefited from clothes and toys, as part of UNESCWA’s ‘Sharing is Caring’ initiative. Other families received 267 crocs, provided by the Lebanese NGO ‘Ahla Fawda’. Moreover, “Care” handed out 2,236 hygiene kits in various areas in Beirut, and will also be giving out 366 additional hygiene kits, 367 elderly kits and 200 baby kits.
The distribution of promo codes by different organizations such as ‘Drapp’ and ‘Geek Express’ also presents tremendous benefits, both physically and emotionally. “Drapp”, a platform that allows online consultations between patients and doctors, is allocating 1,000 promo codes to the affected people and “Geek Express”, an accredited coding academy, is offering 100 promo codes for online courses and 500 Maker Boxes.
Around four months after the tragic event, the destruction is still massive: there are still many homeless people, hundreds of damaged buildings and many businesses that are not able to resume work. As such Nusaned’s goal is to make a considerable difference, further enhancing the impact of the “Goods In Need for Beirut” program by including a supply of vouchers from SMEs to be distributed to beneficiaries in affected areas. Also, thanks to Singapore’s generous donation, a total of 3,304 items will be distributed including blankets, baby diapers and other basic necessities such as packaged infant food as well school kits. Moreover, home appliances will be supplied through Xpatria, and additional hygiene kits will be provided by P&G, as well as extra clothes and shoes that are being shipped from the United States.
As the aftermath of the blast is still heavily felt today, NGOs are making plans for the next few months to keep on assisting the families in need. It is true that NGOs have accomplished great achievements since August, but the road is still long for Beirut to rise from the ashes.