The UN has started working with professionals in Lebanon to ease the ongoing situation. The massive fatal blast destroyed a large portion of the area. More than 130 people have become the victim of the blast, which destroyed the port and the nearby area, causing several injuries. Thousand of people also became homeless. The Lebanon government has declared 2 weeks of state emergency.
UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq told the journalists that WHO is monitoring the situation along with the Lebanese Ministry of Health. There is additional support needed, given the COVID-19 pandemic is still going on. Experts are on there a way to Beirut at assist, from both UN and multiple other nations. A search and rescue operation is to be conducted.
Beirut Port Destruct
The Beirut port is the most important in Lebanon and is extremely critical to Lebanon as well as Syria. The damage caused to the port will worsen the economic situation and food security in Lebanon. The country imports about 80-85% of its food. Mr. Haq said that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) predicted that this is affecting the UN support to Syria, for which they now need to find an alternative path. UN Chief Antonio Guterres tweeted about the incident showing his condolences.
Shelter and Food Assistance
The World Food Programme (WFP) is carrying on the assessment for food requirements. The shelter assistance is on the route. The port destruction is going to delay the aid the UN was providing which is now worsened due to the COVID-19 situation. WHO spokesperson said that food security is now a major crisis in the nation with 50% of the country's population already worried about it.
The UN is constantly trying to find ways to provide financial assistance to the country and many other nations and individuals across the globe are donating money to help the government assist the victims. The country for long has been open to the war fleeing refugees.
A Haven for Refugees
Lebanon has a population of 6 million, and it shelters around 900,000 refugees from Syria, 200,000 refugees from Palestine, and other 18,000 from Iraq and Sudan. The UN refugee agency UNHCR also expressed solidarity with the country. UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi tweeted the same.
The UN staff in Lebanon and their families are among the victims of the explosion, with around 100 receiving treatments.
A Shock to the World
The UN Children's Fund UNICEF also reviewed the condition. UNICEF representative for Lebanon, Yukie Mokuo said that several staff members were injured and some of them also lost their families. UNICEF is coordinating with the Lebanese government to provide as much assistance as possible. UNICEF is providing drinking water to the staff at Beirut port. They are also assisting healthcare workers. The team is helping them get the medicines and vaccines which remain in the nearby warehouses. The UNICEF partners are providing psychosocial support to the children across the capital.
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Author: Subhasri Banerjee
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