Lebanon: Beirut Port Explosions

Situation Report No. 10

Authored by: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Categories: Global Public Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Emergencies
Sub-Categories: COVID-19, Economic Recovery, Human Development, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Country: Lebanon
Region: Middle East and North Africa
Year: 2020
Citation: "Lebanon: Beirut Port Explosions." UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. September 2020.

Access the Resource:

Executive Summary

Offloading of the WFP shipment of 12,500 metric tons of wheat flour has been completed in response to the loss of 15,000 metric tons of grain stocks stored in the silos affected by the explosion. The wheat flour will be delivered to the contracted millers across the country. Lebanon’s grain silos of some 120,000 metric tons’ capacity were destroyed during the 4 August explosions, directly affecting food availability and food safety in all parts of the country. According to the Food Security sector, food intake has dropped since the explosions and not having enough money to buy food is the overarching concern, along with a lack of fuel or access to cooking facilities. The explosions occurred at a time when Lebanon was already dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak and coping with a multi-faceted crisis of economic contraction, increasing poverty and rising prices of basic commodities, all threatening household food security.

The lack of affordable and safe shelter in areas severely affected by the explosions resulted in many affected families moving to other parts of the city. Protection partners are working with communities to identify and reach those families to assess possible protection-related needs. Also, displacement is exacerbating protection risks and concerns, especially for women and children. Assessments indicate that some households may be displaced for an indefinite period. For example, in the Quarantina neighbourhood, assessments indicate a timeline of up to one year for people to return to their homes.

Of the over 6,500 people who were injured in the explosions, some 1,000 were children, according to UNICEF. Also, approximately 100,000 children saw their homes either completely or partially destroyed. UNICEF estimates that up to 600,000 children could suffer from some form of psychological shock/distress. The loss of homes often results in overcrowded households and communities, thus raising other risks, such as COVID-19 transmission, and/or sexual and gender-based violence (GBV).

Overall, the loss of livelihoods compounded by the current COVID-19 outbreak and economic crisis has created an urgent need for continued life-saving assistance in terms of food, nutrition, protection and health support. Sustained, timely and predictable funding is thus urgently needed to continue targeted humanitarian interventions and their scale-up to prevent further deterioration of the situation.