UNHCR Flash Update on Lebanon: Beirut Port Explosions

Connecting Business initiative Secretariat • 19 August 2020


  • UNHCR, together with other humanitarian partners, has ramped up its emergency assistance to people most in need following the blasts in Beirut on 4 August. We continue to work with the rescue teams and other humanitarian partners to identify the victims and are extending support to the families. The explosion has affected everyone, regardless of nationality or status.

  • Refugees have been significantly affected by the blast. UNHCR is contacting all refugee households residing in affected areas and referring persons identified to appropriate onward support. We continue to receive calls daily through hotlines and call centres.

  • As of 14 August, the total number of confirmed refugee deaths are at 13 individuals; 224 injured; 69 missing or reported deceased and unreachable; 46 homeless; and 30 in urgent need of relocation. Since 5 August, UNHCR Mount Lebanon Helpline handled 6,197 calls and 561 direct referrals from refugees, outreach volunteers (OVs), and partners regarding refugees in need of assistance. UNHCR is supporting these families by ensuring they have access to basic assistance and services, including psycho-social support, emergency cash, shelter kits and any interventions related to child protection or sexual and gender-based violence. Emergency cash has also been provided to 10 refugee families directly affected by the blast during the period.

  • As part of the inter-agency humanitarian appeal, UNHCR is mobilizing USD 35 million to provide immediate emergency response to the most affected and most vulnerable households and individuals in Lebanon. This includes USD 32.6 million for shelter interventions and USD 2.4 million for protection activities, notably community-based protection and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS). While assessments are still underway, initial estimates indicate that at least 84,000 vulnerable individuals (24,667 households) have been severely affected by the blast and are in need of urgent support. Affected people displaced outside the Beirut area will also be targeted with assistance.

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