UN-Habitat saddened by horrific Beirut explosions and reconfirms commitment to support Lebanon
Beirut, 6 August 2020. UN-Habitat is extremely saddened by the tragic loss of life, damage and destruction caused by the horrific explosions at Lebanon’s Port of Beirut on 4 August 2020.
With hundreds dead or missing, thousands wounded, and 300,000 people displaced, according to the latest reports, our thoughts are with Lebanon and all those affected by this catastrophe.
A few members of the UN-Habitat team sustained minor injuries, a number of their houses were affected, and the main office in Beirut was severely damaged.
Our teams on the ground are in contact with the authorities and are working closely with the United Nations family in Lebanon to support a coordinated recovery and response. They visited the Port of Beirut on 5 August as part of the Disaster Risk Management Unit (DRM) with a Ministry of Public Works and Transport representative to conduct a damage assessment and assess the procedures for the search for survivors near the explosion area. The team also undertook an initial evaluation of the destruction in neighbourhoods in Beirut and adjacent municipalities.
UN-Habitat is supporting the response, particularly around shelter, by contributing to work on assessing needs and targetting support. It is working with a mapping of disadvantaged areas and contributing to a questionnaire on shelter aimed at supporting immediate and longer-term interventions.
The tragedy comes at a time when Lebanon is already experiencing a crippling socio-economic crisis and a surge in COVID-19 cases. UN-Habitat renews its unwavering commitment to support partners, authorities and, most importantly, all those residing in Lebanon to move forward following this tragedy.
UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries supporting people in cities and human settlements for a better urban future. Working with governments and local partners, its high impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions.