On Tuesday, August 4, two massive explosions rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut. They took place in the city’s port area, causing widespread damage, claiming many lives and injuring hundreds at the time of writing. Video footage posted on social media shows many wounded residents staggering through the streets, screaming, and taking cover.
In a statement given to local media, the Lebanese Red Cross official Georges Kettaneh said that the injured have been taken to the area hospitals, however, the exact figure of casualties cannot be determined as many people many remain trapped in homes damaged by the explosion. Lebanese broadcaster LBCI quoted Beirut’s Hôtel-Dieu de France hospital as saying that it was treating more than 500 injuries, reaching its capacity.
A city that has been going through a worsening economic crisis and its people need all the help they can possibly get at this time — not only from the Middle East but also from the rest of the world. Here are all the ways you can help:
The Lebanese Red Cross has issued an urgent call for blood donations from all blood types. If you are in Lebanon, safe and sound, consider donating to the following blood transfusion centers.
Careem in Lebanon is also offering free rides to and from donation centers which can be availed using the promocode DONATEBLOOD.
Donate to disaster relief funds
Now more than ever, the people of Beirut need financial aid to treat themselves and repair the damages caused by the explosion in order to put their lives back together. Impact Lebanon is one such initiative that has issued a call for donations that will help the Lebanese Red Cross and other NGOs.
Help locate victims
Soon after the incident, an Instagram account dedicated to finding the victims was created. The account owners have been posting photos of likely victims of the explosion who have been separated from their friends and family, and encourage everyone to share the posts to help them reunite.
In Lebanon, an organization dedicated to the welfare of animals has put out a call for a search team to look for the pets who have been displaced following the explosions.
Also in Lebanon, a social initiative has been created to help rebuild the homes which have been destroyed as a result of the blasts. Besides asking for aid, people are also encouraged to volunteer to rebuild as well as to help them identify and locate the people who have been affected the most by sending in their details.
In a race against the clock, citizen volunteers are on the ground refitting homes with doors and windows. With rainfalls pending in a month’s time or less and winter on its heels, Mariana Wehbe (Mariana Wehbe PR) and Nancy Gabriel (Gabriel et Guillaume) have launched Bebw’ shebbek (Door and Window) and along with their growing team of valiants are rebuilding and fitting doors and windows of some 80,000 destroyed homes. Together, with carpenters and suppliers, they aim to fix 30 homes each week and have made an urgent call to action for more donations and volunteers on the ground. Couturier Rami Kadi has pledged to donate the US$120,000 for a fully embroidered couture dress entirely to support Bebw’ shebbek.
Support Lebanese creatives donating to local NGOs
Studio Fidèle has joined forces with Lebanese artist Raphaelle Macaron on a fundraiser for Impact Lebanon which is coordinating with local NGOs. According to the site hosting the fundraiser, “a series of 12 Riso prints are available for sale, and 100% of the profits will be donated (a small portion of the money will be used only to cover shipping costs).”
Lebanese handbag designer Gilbert Halaby has pledged to select one bag every day of the week from his label Maison Halaby and donate all of its sales to a chosen Lebanese NGO.
Serapeum for Beirut
UK-registered charity Serapeum is responding to the tragedy in Beirut by hosting an impactful fundraiser titled “Serapeum Sunday”. On Sunday, October 4, Serapeum will lead a campaign initiative whereby brands are encouraged to join the fundraiser and donate a chosen percentage of their profits to the cause.
All funds raised through the event will go towards Alfanar, the Lebanon Solidarity Fund, the Beirut Heritage Initiative, and Rebuilding St George’s Hospital. More information can be found at serapeum.co
Check back for more updates and other ways to help. Art on holding image: Aamir Khan