Beirut, 11 August 2020. UN-Habitat has moved quickly to work with the international response to the explosions at the Port of Beirut in Lebanon’s capital a week ago that left more than 160 people dead, thousands more injured and around 300,000 people homeless.
The massive destruction to homes and buildings impacted some 60,000 households and affected thousands of buildings. UN-Habitat has deployed staff to Beirut Municipality and is leading the digitization of damage assessment data for buildings through a mobile application, GIS and mapping support. The initial assessments will bring together information on the location and extent of damage and local socio-economic conditions to enable a targeted response addressing the most urgent needs. The mapping is helping UN-Habitat to identify where water supplies and tanks are most critically needed. In Bourj Hammoud, UN-Habitat has deployed field teams to assist the assessment of buildings.
UN-Habitat Lebanon is closely coordinating with other United Nations agencies, the humanitarian community, local and government authorities. Through the Emergency Operations Cell, led by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator with the Government of Lebanon, UN-Habitat is co-leading the Shelter Sector with UNHCR and is sending a team to take part in the household assessments led by the Lebanese Red Cross.
UN-Habitat is also co-leading a consortium to remove and manage the huge amount of debris and rubble left by the explosion. The initiative “From the Rubble” involves sorting and storing non-recyclable glass and debris and turning them into material for landfill in mountains severely eroded by quarrying.
UN-Habitat will contribute to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of impacted neighbourhoods together with the wider relief community. A UN-Habitat developed guide will help residents identify signs of structural weakness in their homes and explain where to find support to provide further assistance.
If you would like to support UN-Habitat’s recovery work in Beirut, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
About the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
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.
For media enquiries contact: Charbel Ghsoub, UN-Habitat Lebanon Communications Assistant