– August 7 2020
Humanitarian appeal for children in Lebanon
The enormous explosion that shook the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on August 4 comes at a highly critical and difficult time for Lebanon.
With COVID-19 infections on the rise, hospitals were already battling to cope. Now, they are struggling to treat thousands of injured people.
The country is also going through the worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, and tension was already running high with social protests against the government. Citizens are struggling to cope with daily power cuts, a lack of safe drinking water and limited public healthcare.
"This tragedy comes on top of an already difficult economic and health crisis," says Zeina Roueiheb, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Lebanon. "We are assessing options to come up with the best way for responding to the needs of our target group exacerbated by the explosion."
A drawing by 10-year-old Yasmina
While those hit hardest by the economic crash have been society’s most vulnerable – including an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees and hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees – more and more Lebanese are also impacted. Food prices are rising at a time when people have less purchasing power.
SOS Children's Villages Lebanon, which has worked with children and families in the country for over 50 years, intends to provide emergency humanitarian aid for preserving family unity and interim care for unaccompanied and seperated children. The response will also address needs of families who have already been affected by the extremely harsh economic crisis coupled with the adverse effects of COVID-19 on people's daily livelihoods.
Among the actions being prepared:
- Protect children by preserving family unity through provision of in-kind and/or financial humanitarian aid to immediately affected families in form of food, non food items and cash/vouchers to address urgent needs. such access to basic services (drinking water, hygiene, food, etc.)
- Unaccompanied or separated children receive interim alternative care in existing SOS Children’s Villages.
- Lack of access to formal education is addressed with activities to support educational development of vulnerable children.
Support children and families struggling in this time of crisis
Photo: Ali Mahmoud Itani