How to Help People in Beirut After the Deadly Explosion

How to Help People in Beirut After the Deadly Explosion
Photo: Dan359, Shutterstock

As the search for survivors of Wednesday’s explosion in Beirut continues, at this point we know that it left more than 100 people dead and thousands of others injured. The blast happened near the Lebanese capital’s port, though it could be felt from more than 241 km away in Cyprus, the New York Times reports.

It appears as though the explosion was caused by the detonation of more than 2,449 tonnes of ammonium nitrate — a chemical used in everything from bombs to fertilisers — which had been stored in a warehouse near the port. To put that in perspective, two tons of the chemical went into bomb used to attack a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, which killed 168 people. (Read this explainer from Al Jazeera to learn more about ammonium nitrate.)

Beirut is in a state of emergency after the blast displaced approximately 300,000 people from their homes. All of this comes while Lebanon is in the midst of an economic crisis, political unrest, and the COVID-19 global pandemic. Given the strain on hospitals and emergency services, relief organisations could use some assistance. Here’s where to donate if you’d like to help:

The Lebanese Red Cross

The Lebanese Red Cross has been actively requesting donations via their social media channels. Some potential donors reported not being able to contribute without setting up an account. Use this link as a way around that, where you can make a donation as a guest. Also, the LRC is warning those who want to contribute to the organisation not to do so through a third-party fundraising site:

Impact Lebanon

A group called Impact Lebanon is coordinating with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to raise funds to help those impacted by the explosion. It’s a crowdfunding campaign through the site JustGiving.

Lebanese Food Bank

The main website for the Lebanese Food Bank is currently down, but if you go directly to the donation page, you’ll be able to make a contribution.

Doctors Without Borders

Following the explosion, several members of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) went to local health facilities to help out. According to a post on Twitter, “MSF is donating wound kits, seeing if patients needing further surgery can be treated in one of our hospitals, and identifying additional ways to help.” You can make a donation to the organisation using this link.

United Mission for Relief & Development

A fundraiser organised through the United Mission for Relief & Development organisation is specifically focusing on raising money for health kits currently needed at Beirut hospitals. Visit their crowdfunding page to donate.

Save the Children

Save the Children already had an active fundraising campaign to assist those in Lebanon, and have an even greater need than before. Here’s how to donate.

Relief International

According to a statement from the organisation, Relief International will continue to provide “cash assistance, healthcare, education, economic opportunities, and other lifelines to communities in Lebanon” following the explosion. Here’s how to donate.

Donate blood

If you happen to be in Beirut now, you may be considering donating blood. As of this morning, Lebanese NGO Donner Sang Computer (which facilitates blood donations), posted a message on Twitter indicating that they have enough blood — for now. The blood banks are currently stocked, but that could change in a matter of days or hours. For now, you can register for blood donation, or make a monetary contribution to the organisation.

Those who would prefer to donate blood through the Lebanese Red Cross can get more information here.

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