Beirut Explosion: How to Donate and Help Victims of Lebanon 'Catastrophe'

An explosion ripped through the Port of Beirut in Lebanon on Tuesday, leaving over 100 dead and thousands injured and homeless. The exact cause of the explosion is still being investigated.

International aid, emergency workers and medical personnel are heading to the capital from countries such as France, Jordan, Egypt, the Czech Republic and others. Charities such as Save the Children and the Union of Relief and Development Associations are also providing aid in the form of assistance on the ground and donations.

Located on the city's northern Mediterranean coast, the Port of Beirut is one of the largest and busiest ports in the Eastern Mediterranean. It serves as the main entry point into the country along with the city's airport, through which much of the nation's vital supplies arrive.

Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab appealed to countries and friends of Lebanon in a televised speech on Wednesday morning. "We are witnessing a real catastrophe," he said.

Getty Images Beirut Explosion
A destroyed silo is seen amid the rubble and debris following yesterday's blast at the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut, on August 5, 2020. Rescuers worked through the night after two enormous explosions ripped through Beirut's port, killing at least 78 people and injuring thousands, as they wrecked buildings across the Lebanese capital. The latest death count, according to AP, is over 100 victims. ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images

How to help victims from the Beirut explosion

There are several ways to help those affected by the explosion in the capital.

Lebanon Red Cross

The Lebanon Red Cross is accepting online and offline donations. The national society was established on July 9, 1945, according to its website, and is a nonprofit organization as well as an auxiliary team to the medical personnel of the Lebanese Army.

It is part of the International Red Cross and a member of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It is also a founding member of the Secretariat General of the Organization of the Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies.

The organization is led and run by volunteers who look to provide relief to victims of natural and human disasters. It runs services such as emergency medical treatment, blood transfusion and more. As it is not a governmental association, most of the assistance provided by the organization depends on donations.

To donate to the Lebanon Red Cross, you can either pay via the website or make a bank transfer to the following:

  • Bank name: Audi
    • Account Name: Croix Rouge Libanaise
    • Account# 8415000046
    • IBAN# LB38 0056 0000 0000 0084 1500 0046
    • Currency: USD
    • SWIFT: AUDBLBBX
  • Bank name: Fransabank
    • Account Name: Croix Rouge Libanaise
    • Account# 0101LBP1515019937411
    • IBAN# LB44 0001 0101 LBP1 5150 1993 7411
    • Currency: LBP
    • SWIFT: FSABLBBX
  • Bank name: Fransabank
    • Account Name: Croix Rouge Libanaise
    • Account# 0101USD1515019937418
    • IBAN# LB46 0001 0101 USD1 5150 1993 7418
    • Currency: USD
    • SWIFT: FSABLBBX
Getty Images Beirut Aid
A wounded man waits to receive help outside a hospital following an explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut on August 4, 2020. Two huge explosions rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky. Lebanese media carried images of people trapped under rubble, some bloodied, after the massive explosions, the cause of which was not immediately known. IBRAHIM AMRO/AFP via Getty Images

Save the Children

This nonprofit focuses on providing services to children in developing countries or during emergencies and disasters. Founded in London in 1919 by Eglantyne Jebb, the organization delivers emergency relief to children and their families to help them recover from loss, restore their lives and build resilience.

Coming to the U.S. in 1932, the organization helped with food distribution in Appalachia, which was hard hit by the Great Depression. It also assisted children to escape Nazi Germany and was among the first into liberated areas after the war, according to its website.

Services provided by Save the Children include help with healthcare, education, policy and on-the-ground aid during a crisis. It has most recently been assisting in Yemen and across the world in communities hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company considers itself to be the first agency on the ground when disaster strikes and Jad Sakr, Save the Children's country director in Lebanon, says that Save the Children is ready to assist where needed in Beirut.

"We are shocked and devastated by the explosion today," he said in a press release. "The death toll may not be known for several days but what we do know is that in a disaster like this, children may be hurt, shocked, and separated from their parents.

"Our child protection teams are ready to support the government's efforts, which will almost certainly go on for several days to come. It is vital that children and their families get access to the services they urgently need, including medical care and physical and emotional protection."

Donations to Save The Children via its Lebanon Crisis Fund.

Union of Relief and Development Associations

A nonprofit based in Lebanon, the Union of Relief and Development Associations (URDA) has also launched an emergency appeal to support people in Lebanon on GlobalGiving.org. People can donate once or donate monthly.

The organization helps disadvantaged individuals in Lebanon, helping in cities and far into the mountains and valleys of the country. It supports vulnerable communities to become empowered, psychosocially supported and educated while making sure women and children are legally protected.

URDA provides humanitarian services such as shelter, healthcare, education, protection, relief and more during emergency situations.

According to its fundraising page, the organization is looking to support with medical supplies, food parcels, medicine and medical aid for clinics and hospitals that need assistance.

Impact Lebanon

This non-profit organization is a social incubator for the Lebanese community. Helping people mobilize more effectively, its community shares knowledge, resources and expertise as well as helping make activism accessible, impactful and sustainable. This ranges from providing healthcare to education to those who need it.

Impact Lebanon is trying to raise £5 million ($6.556 million) to provide disaster relief after the explosion in the capital. According to its website, it is coordinating with other non-government organizations who need assistance and will be providing details of how funds will be spent as soon as possible.

To donate to this cause, visit Impact Lebanon's JustGiving page.

Oxfam

A global organization working to end the injustice of poverty, Oxfam had been working in Beirut prior to the explosion and told Newsweek it is "extremely concerned" with helping local communities pulling together and recover from the crisis.

According to the nonprofit, Lebanon is struggling with multiple and complex crises including economic collapse and the coronavirus pandemic. Already supporting refugees from Syria, statistics show that the country hosts the largest number of refugees per capita in the world.

Oxfam has been working to provide water and sanitation for refugees and those in poverty in the country, as well as emergency cash assistance for legal protection and supporting small businesses. It is active in North Lebanon, the Bekaa Vallet, South Lebanon and in Palestinian camps and gatherings.

Oxfam Lebanon policy lead Bachir Ayoub provided a statement to Newsweek explaining the explosions have created a "crisis on crises" situation: "Lebanon was already struggling to cope—the economy has been in a tailspin, the local currency has lost approximately 80 percent of its value and the last month has seen a dramatic increase in coronavirus cases with hospitals already under pressure.

"People whose homes have been damaged or completely destroyed will not be able to access their money to start to repair or rebuild and essential items like wheat and medicine will soon be scarce, as the Port of Beirut, the major storage and supply point, has been obliterated. A massive effort will be required to recover."

The nonprofit has been working in the country since 1993, providing humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people affected by conflict and promoting economic development, good governance at a local and national level. It also supports women's rights through work with local partners.

It is accepting donations for its work on the ground via its Lebanon Relief & Recovery Fund.

CARE

This nonprofit is an international aid organization that provides assistance to people in need and distributes emergency supplies. Speaking to Newsweek, the company confirmed it was accepting donations to help provide psycho-social support and psycho-social first aid with an emphasis on managing PTSD and preventing gender-based violence.

It is also giving cash assistance to those needing emergency shelter and providing emergency sanitation items, as cases of COVID-19 have tripled in the last 30 days. The nonprofit also told Newsweek that since the pandemic, 85 percent of citizens have had to reduce the number of meals they eat as essential goods such as milk, rice and sugar have tripled in prices. Further, 88 percent of people have said they cannot access hygiene kits and health supplies they would need to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you would like to donate to CARE, you can via its Disaster Relief fund.

Catholic Relief Services

With its partner Caritas and 14 other faith-based organizations, this nonprofit is working to meet the immediate needs of those impacted by the explosion.

This aid includes offering hot meals and water at three locations throughout the capital, as well as healthcare centers and mobile medical units opening and ready to treat patients. It is also providing mental health support via its own unit.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the U.S. and works to alleviate suffering and provide assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries. Its relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.

"Our partners started working right away to make sure people were getting help, even though their own buildings were damaged in the explosion," Megan Gilbert, CRS' spokesperson, told Newsweek. "At CRS we're privileged to contribute to the overwhelmingly generous volunteer response of the Lebanese people, despite all that they have been through over the past year.

"Many people in Lebanon were struggling to get by even before this explosion," Gilbert continues. "Now because of the destruction, people are staying in severely damaged homes, or even out in the streets. They are going to need long-term support to get through this."

Donations for the Catholic Church's response to the disaster can be securely made here.

Islamic Relief USA

This nonprofit provides assistance to whoever needs it most, regardless of race, religion or gender. It works across the U.S. and internationally, looking to help those in crisis.

The year after it was founded, Islamic Relief set up its first field office in Khartoum, Sudan, ready to help those affected by the drought not just survive, but rebuild their lives. It has now started a fund for Lebanon following the August 4 explosion.

The nonprofit is working to build a sustainable supply chain for emergency aid in the capital and asking for support to help sustain the many projects that already help uplift people in Lebanon. It has been working in the country since 2006 in response to a humanitarian crisis caused by war. It is behind reconstruction efforts like hospital rehabilitation and water facility repairs.

It has also supported heart surgeries for children in need, helping provide emergency aid in response to natural disasters and harsh weather has delivered supplies to refugee families living in camps.

If you would like to donate to this nonprofit to help Beirut, you can do so via its website.

Humanity and Inclusion (formerly Handicap International)

This non-government organization has been working in the country since 1992, providing physical therapists and psychosocial experts during critical responses.

During 2019, the 90-person team in Lebanon has directly benefited 78,000 people. They have helped Syrian refugees and citizens with complex injuries from conflict or disabilities.

Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Humanity and Inclusion works internationally in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. With donor support, it works alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable groups to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promoting respect for their dignity and fundamental rights. In 2019, it had 441 projects in 61 countries, providing direct support to 2.8 million people.

Secure gifts can be made to Humanity & Inclusion on this page and the company is accepting gifts via PayPal.

How to donate blood and access shelter in Lebanon

Due to the vast amount of casualties on the ground and displaced families in Beirut, there are local resources that people can access if they want to help or access services.

Daleel Thawra is a directory of initiatives, outlets and resources in Lebanon to help people access what they need during times of difficulty. At the moment, it is listing hospitals that urgently need blood donations, including the blood type and the location it's needed.

It also has a map of shelters with available beds for those who have lost their homes following the explosion.

A further list of resources has been compiled by Washington, D.C resident Ramzy Al-Amine. His twitter handle is @ramz_53 and he also supports causes such as Free Palestine, the Yemen Crisis and Black Lives Matter.

The list includes fundraisers to donate to for those needing it in Beirut, links to help locate people who are missing after the explosion and lists of shelters available to help people who have been made homeless.

Updated on August 7, 2020, at 6:45 a.m. ET to include further disaster relief funds asking for donations as well as an updated link to Save the Children's Lebanon Crisis Relief fund.