UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Assesses Immediate Response and Support Needed Following Beirut Blast

August 6, 2020

Beirut, 6 August 2020 -- The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Ms. Najat Rochdi expressed her heartfelt condolences and best wishes for the speedy recovery of the injured on behalf of the humanitarian actors in Lebanon following the terrible loss of life, significant injuries and massive damage to infrastructure caused by the horrific incident in Beirut’s Port on Tuesday 4 August.

“This crisis requires the support of all to surmount the devastating impact of the crisis on the Lebanese people and the country.  I would like to commend the mobilization of all UN agencies, NGOs, and INGOs for the support provided so far and for their commitment to assist the Government of Lebanon and Lebanese people to overcome this tragic incident”, said Ms. Rochdi. “I am also deeply moved by the peoples’ solidarity and spontaneous acts of kindness demonstrated by regular citizens who are taking personal initiatives to support others in this time of desperate need,” she added.

Ms. Rochdi reiterated the UN Secretary General’s commitment to supporting Lebanon at this difficult time and is actively assisting in the response to this incident. In consultation with their Excellencies the Deputy Prime Minister, Zeina Akar, and Minister of Public Health, Dr. Hamad Hassan, Ms. Rochdi has been working with humanitarian partners to assess the humanitarian needs and provide support to the Government of Lebanon as they respond.

Ms. Rochdi is releasing US $9 Million from the Lebanese Humanitarian Fund and the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock will release additional funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to address immediate needs and help strengthening the capacity of existing hospitals, including by expanding and establishing additional Intensive Care Units (ICUs) where needed, and providing trauma kits, ventilators, medical supplies, medicine, etc.

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is deploying SURGE teams including experts from the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) to assist with the emergency response.

Furthermore, Ms. Rochdi convened a meeting with NGOs and UN agencies to assess ongoing humanitarian assistance that the UN and their partners will continue to provide.  Health organizations have already initiated the procurement of medical equipment and supplies to support the emergency response. WHO is providing assistance to cover 1000 trauma interventions and 1000 surgical interventions for people suffering from burns and wounds caused by glass and other debris resulting from the blast.

The UN and its partners will continue to provide support to alleviate immediate humanitarian suffering and support recovery efforts.