“While driving into Beirut I had tears in my eyes [from] seeing all this destruction in most streets,” expressed Joy Mallouh, a pastor in Beirut, two days after an explosion devastated the capital of Lebanon on Tuesday, August 4, 2020.
Over 135 people killed, over 5,000 injured and scores more missing. As of today, over 300,000 people are displaced in the Greater Beirut area – many of them children. The cost of damages to buildings and houses are estimated to be over $3 billion USD.
The people of Beirut are in desperate need of help, as authorities have declared Beirut a ‘disaster city.’ Clinics are currently overwhelmed and several hospitals in the city have been partially destroyed. The most vulnerable populations, particularly the refugee communities in Beirut, are of grave concern, especially after experiencing tremendous loss and devastation from years of hardship.
The timing of this crisis is unfathomable. The past year has already been extremely tough on Lebanon, with a political and economic crisis causing unrest, months before COVID-19 became a pandemic. Inflation skyrocketed and high rates of unemployment have devastated the country. Not to mention the added element of a global pandemic, which has compounded the situation.
Global Aid Network (GAiN) Canada, the humanitarian partner of P2C, has been involved in Beirut for the past four years, working closely with local partners to bring hope and the unconditional love of Jesus to refugee families in the area. When we heard the news, we knew we had to respond.
In order to provide much-needed relief and aid to families and local churches in the affected communities, we are partnering with the local Agape/CRU office, as well as other local churches that we have previously worked with.
Mallouh, pastor of the Church of God in Ashrafieh, near the epicenter of the explosion, shared his experience: “As I sit now in my church office, where all window frames are blown away, I can still hear sirens of ambulances on the Ashrafieh streets. As we drive into Ashrafieh, we keep looking at destruction everywhere. Glass covers the streets. The scene was terrible… An area with a radius of 3 km has been affected by the blast and some buildings were totally damaged and the rest severely damaged. Several members from church have a lot of damage in their apartments, one of whom is my mother’s…While the future looks dark, we have no hope other than putting our trust in our living Lord.”
We need your urgent help and partnership to support families in desperate need. While many of us have been stretched financially during this time, we ask you to consider giving sacrificially above your current (regular) support.
The people of Beirut now face homelessness, unemployment, food insecurity, possible increased exposure to COVID-19, a lack of available medical treatment, as well as heightened stress and additional trauma.