Crisis in Beirut, Lebanon: How we can help

The recent unfortunate incident has opened our eyes to reality. This article will be expressing our thoughts and providing resources for those who want to support Beirut from afar. 

Often referred to as a war-struck nation in the past, the recent explosion in Beirut may not come as a surprise. However, what should be noted that this blast was absolutely preventable by the necessary officials in charge.

A Beautiful Mark of Islam located in Beirut, Lebanon
A Beautiful Mark of Islam located in Beirut, Lebanon

‘’Especially amid a pandemic, and an unstable economic climate, the residents of Lebanon did not deserve this blast; something that could have been easily prevented.’’ – Krish 

The enormous blast killed up to 150 people, injured thousands and left half the city shattered and wrecked. The investigation behind the cause of the blast revealed a toxic substance, ammonium nitrate which was present in the warehouse that had led to the explosion. It is a key ingredient in bombs. 

This calls for accountability – which is what many Lebanses citizens are protesting for from the officials. This was an incident that was uncalled for, given that there are many other pressing problems in the nation like hyperinflation, unemployment, corruption and a divided political system. 

Many aid packages have been emerging ever since; but how do we identify the right sources to donate to so funds do not end up in the wrong hands? Before delving into the different sources you can look out for, our founders, Krish and Cherie have a few words to convey. 

Q: What do you think about the ill-fated incident in Beirut?

A (Krish): Just like everyone else that is reading the news, we are all unaware of the exact cause of the blast that happened in Beirut, Lebanon. About 2750 metric tons of ammonium, nitrate became flammable for a lack of safe storage for the gas. I am going to share a few statistics to show the deadliness of this chemical compound.

Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound used to make fertilizers and mining explosives. It is a strong oxidiser that can speed up the ignition and combustion of flammable material and contaminants. There are strict rules and guidelines that need to be followed for the storage of such flammable gas.

This is not the first time this has happened. A similar blast occurred in Texas City in 1947 that damaged 1000 buildings and killed nearly 400 people. Some other countries that had similar explosions because of poorly stored ammonium nitrate include Oppau, Germany; Galveston Bay, Texas, USA; West in Waco, Texas, USA; Tianjin in China.

We have all seen the videos of the blast but to explain that using numbers, 137 people have been reported dead, 5000 have been wounded, hundreds have been reported missing and over 300,000 people have been displaced. The Jordanian seismological observatory said that the Beirut explosion was equivalent to a magnitude 4.5 earthquake on the Richter scale.

There is a need to set and implement strict protocols in storing gasses that are flammable or potentially flammable when mixed with organic compounds and heat. Especially amid a pandemic, and an unstable economic climate, the residents of Lebanon did not deserve this blast; something that could have been easily prevented.

We are praying for a speedy recovery for those affected and we sincerely urge everyone to donate to the teams that are working on helping the victims of this preventable blast.

Q: What can we do beyond just raising awareness about this? 

A (Cherie): Learning about the devastating explosions in Beirut that occurred recently on August 4th 2020, PoweredByPlant and its members express full solidarity and support for the victims, their families, and local Lebanese businesses affected. This grave event calls for us to unite as one people to help with the recovery. We will be donating a portion of our proceeds to support Lebanese reconstruction of infrastructure and lives, while spreading awareness for the need of support from anyone and everyone, big or small, near or far, as rapidly as possible.

Donate to where it matters!

Healthcare Providers

  1. Lebanese Red Cross
  2. Saint George Hospital
  3. Donner Sang Compter
  4. LA Relief Fund for AUBMC

Emergency Relief Funds

  1. LIFE Lebanon 
  2. Impact Lebanon
  3. SEAL Emergency Fund
  4. UNICEF Lebanon
  5. Amel Emergency Relief Fund
  6. ANERA Emergency Response
  7. Lebanon of Tomorrow
  8. Jobs for Lebanon
  9. Blast Victims Relief Fund
  10. Oxfam

Domestic Workers Aid 

  1. @egnalegna
  2. @alinedeloscampos

Food Relief

  1. @lebfoodbank
  2. @ahlafawda
  4. @foodblessed=

Food aid, elders & marginalized communities aid

  1. @beitelbaraka

Milk & Diapers for babies

  1. @atfalouna.leb

(Credits: @earthtodorcas)

For the list of local NGOs, visit here. 

List of petitions can be found here.

Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] if you have any other ways to support this cause.

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