What’s Happening in Beirut, Lebanon?
A devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon occurred this week on August 4th, killing dozens of people and injuring thousands. Homes and buildings were destroyed as the blast, which occurred in a warehouse storing explosive materials, bellowed through the city. Fumes from the explosion are possibly toxic and civilians are encouraged to wear proper masks.
However, the explosion, while horrific, is not the only crisis that Lebanon is facing today. Lebanon is in the midst of social, political, economic and health crises, and with COVID-19 and the recent explosion, things have not yet improved.
What’s happening in Lebanon?
Corruption in political parties, parliament and the police have resulted in a damaged system. Religious and political groups divide the country resulting in political sectarianism. The continuous change in leadership has made the government unable to make positive changes, and thus the country lacks infrastructure. Lebanon faces issues with tension at the Israel border, as well as with the war in Syria.
These political issues have sparked protests throughout the country, as people demand better healthcare, transportation, infrastructure, unemployment and more.
After it’s civil war during 1975 – 1990, Lebanon still hasn’t fully healed. Corruption has fractured the economy and results in more issues throughout the country. The Lebanese currency value has fallen by 80% while the price of goods has increased drastically. This results in poverty, unemployment and famine. Almost ⅓ of Lebanon’s population suffers from poverty, and the unemployment rate is at 25%.
Lebanon’s healthcare system is underfunded, lacking proper infrastructure, and is facing a shortage of medical supplies and PPE. COVID-19 resulted in more poverty, as basic necessities became unavailable. Hospitals are struggling to cope with COVID-19 and with the recent explosion making many homeless and emitting toxic fumes, more people are at risk for health issues.
What Can We Do To Help?
Firstly, it’s important to share news and stories about Lebanon through social media platforms. Keep the conversation going about what is going on. Educate yourself on what is happening in Beirut and Lebanon and keep informed. And finally, donate to organizations who are on the ground helping Lebanon and its people recover.
Our prayers are with Beirut, Lebanon and to all those affected by this tragedy.