The Beirut Port explosion of 4 August 2020 resulted in devastating loss of life, injury, and the destruction of vast tracts of urban fabric within Greater Beirut, particularly within the municipalities of Beirut and Bourj Hammoud. Vast building and housing stock were damaged – at varying levels – ranging from minor repairs, substantial repairs, structural repairs, and some beyond repair. It is estimated that more than 300,000 people were directly impacted by the blast, including 60,000 families whose homes were damaged, with thousands displaced due to being evacuated following severe structural damages to their homes.
The housing rehabilitation project funded by the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) and implemented by UN-Habitat is supporting vulnerable families in Nabaa, Bourj Hammoud to restore their homes which were damaged by the explosion – specifically through the provision of funds for minor rehabilitation and repairs. The project will restore a minimum of 100 housing and reach approximately 500 direct beneficiaries.
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“We are very thankful for this initiative, especially that the neighbourhood was carefully selected after a thorough survey. The houses before the blast were already in a bad shape and after the blast, they became unlivable. This partnership will help the most vulnerable families, where some of them aren’t even able to provide food for their children.”
Hayat Fakhreddine, Nabaa Community Activist
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UN-Habitat participated in the initial completed Multi-Sector Needs Assessment Survey (MSNA) – a unified survey led by the Lebanese Red Cross and in coordination with humanitarian and emergency response actors. This was undertaken across the blast-affected area to establish a baseline of needs. The MSNA served as a foundation for identifying the households eligible for support through this project. In order to validate the MSNA data and updated needs, UN-Habitat undertook a rapid socio-economic survey and validation assessment to identify the vulnerable households to be targeted by this project.
In addition to the validation exercise undertaken by UN-Habitat, meetings are being held with civil society members in the targeted communities to familiarize community members with the project and inform them on the project’s scope, objectives and expected outcomes. The process of selecting the beneficiaries has also been explained. In addition to supporting the families on minor rehabilitation, the project will work, in collaboration with other actors on the ground, to ensure complementary awareness raising on COVID-19, in addition to referral to psychological assistance where necessary, in order to help residents cope with the aftermath caused by the blast.