Integral Responds to the Crisis in Lebanon

The huge explosion that rocked Beirut on 4th August 2020 brought widespread devastation to the city …

Photo: © Medair/Hiba Hajj Omar

Integral Alliance has launched an Integral alert for Lebanon, with 18 Members opting in to be part of this joint Disaster Response[1].

Lebanon is already experiencing a financial and political crisis, a surge in COVID-19 cases and is hosting more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees. An Integral response will support collaboration across our membership, both in response to the Beirut blast and for the existing work of our Members in Lebanon.

The explosion killed more than 180 people and injured more than 6,500. Coping capacities were already stretched before the explosion and more than 300,000 people have now lost homes and businesses. Six major hospitals and 20 clinics sustained partial or heavy structural damage. As cases rise, there is a critical need to scale-up the COVID-19 response while also responding to the immediate needs of those affected by the blast. [Source here and here].

Integral Members have both teams on the ground and are working with local Partners, as well as launching fundraising campaigns in their home countries. In the days since the explosion, Members and Partners have conducted assessments of the needs while distributing hot meals and shelter materials. Seven containers of medicine were destroyed by the explosion and Integral Member, International Health Partners have sent shipments of medicines into the country, with more to follow.

Integral Member, Medair, has been working in Lebanon since 2012. Curt Tyler, Medair’s Country Director in Lebanon, says: “The needs are enormous. More than 300,000 people are now homeless.  People need mental health support to address the trauma they’ve experienced. They need help repairing their homes. Many will need cash assistance to help pay for rent and other essentials. Hospitals and health care centres will need help with repairs, restocking medication, and more. The number of COVID-19 cases is increasingly every day at an alarming rate. Safety will be our biggest concern moving forward. It’s going to take a concerted, collective effort to rebuild Lebanon.”[2]

Fiona Boshoff, Integral’s CEO says: “Many Integral Members have a long history of working in Lebanon, both working directly and through local Partners. There is already good support of each other’s work, and coordination around shared local Partners. It has been fantastic to see people’s generosity in giving to Lebanon, and this support will be needed not only for the immediate impact of the blast, but for the repercussions for the whole country across the coming winter months and beyond. It is our hope and prayer that in this situation we can leverage our Members’ strengths collectively for greater reach and impact.” 

In the initial stages of an Integral response, calls are held as frequently as necessary, so that Members can share information in the critical phase when needs are acute. The Integral online platform enables Members to share photos and stories, response plans and funding needs.An infographic of Integral activity in Lebanon.

[1] Integral Members who have opted into this response: Cedar Fund (Hong Kong), Food for the Hungry (USA and Canada), Integra (Slovakia), International Health Partners (UK), Medair (Switzerland), Medical Teams International (USA), Mission East (Denmark), SEL (France), TEAR (Netherlands), Tearfund (Belgium), Tearfund (New Zealand), Tearfund (UK), Tearfund Canada, Tearfund Ireland, Transform Aid (Australia), World Relief (US), World Renew, ZOA (Netherlands)