Beirut, 12 February 2021. More than six months after the Port of Beirut explosions, efforts to mitigate the direct impact of the blast continue. To this end, UN-Habitat and the International Islamic Charity Organization (IICO) signed an agreement to rehabilitate 100 damaged residential units in Bourj Hammoud, directly benefiting 500 people.
“The critical support will ensure that homes are repaired and sealed off to ensure minimum living conditions are returned, contributing to safeguarding the well-being of the most vulnerable, including women, children, elderly and disabled,” said Taina Christiansen, Head of UN-Habitat Country Programme in Lebanon.
In order to gap-fill remaining needs not covered by the immediate response in the first three months following the explosion, UN-Habitat conducted a rapid socio-economic survey towards the end of 2020, to identify households in Bourj Hammoud, still in need of repairs to their homes. Through this survey, UN-Habitat will ensure that the most vulnerable households will be restored through critical funding received from IICO.
Adequate housing is a fundamental human right. This project will ensure this by restoring houses with adequate living spaces and by guaranteeing physical safety. The support from IICO will also alleviate the vast socio-economic hardship faced by these vulnerable families, currently compounded by the total country lockdown since the beginning of the year.
“We are very thankful for this initiative, especially that the neighbourhood was carefully selected after a thorough survey. The houses before the blast were already in a bad shape and after the blast, they became unliveable. This partnership will help the most vulnerable families, where some of them aren’t even able to provide food for the children,” said Hayat Fakhreddine, community activist in Bourj Hammoud.
This partnership is part of a series of initiatives launched or supported by UN-Habitat following the Beirut Port explosions. Through adopting a “Build Back Better” approach, UN-Habitat reiterates its commitment to support those affected by the blast and beyond, within the wider response of the humanitarian and development community, and as part of the concerted and coordinated efforts of the United Nations family in Lebanon.
About the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries supporting people in cities and human settlements for a better urban future. Working with governments and local partners, its high impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a dedicated Goal on cities, SDG 11 – to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
About International Islamic Charity Organization (IICO)
The International Islamic Charity Organization (IICO) is one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the Muslim world. It is an independent, multi-faceted charity that provides its humanitarian services to those in need in the world without discrimination or intolerance away from interference in politics or ethnic conflicts.