Lebanon Explosion and Aftermath

“Sometimes we did not understand the words because it was mixed with their tears.” A Child Champion describes Lebanese families’ gratitude for help in the face of a catastrophic explosion and economic crisis.

We are glad to report that our kids and Child Champions in Lebanon are safe following the devastating explosion on August 4 in the capital city of Beirut that killed more than 200 people and left 300,000 temporarily homeless. The disaster was caused by an explosion of 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer stored in the harbor.

The nearest children served by OneChild live more than 25 miles away from the blast zone. While it is certain the children felt the tremor due to the size of the blast, we are grateful they are located well away from the scene of the explosion and the worst destruction.

Child Champions are reaching out to comfort and help their communities. The food recently distributed to families is more valuable than ever in the face of this latest crisis.

In addition to the explosion, the collapsing economy, widespread unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic have left the country in a state of crisis that some describe as worse than the 15-year civil war that ended in 1990. There have been violent protests, and the prime minister and his government have stepped down following this disaster.

OneChild staff in Lebanon explain that because of the ongoing financial crisis and pandemic, a family who once lived on the equivalent of $800 a month are now trying to survive on less than $160 a month.  Children we support are located in some of the poorest areas of the country where people are facing 80% unemployment.

So far OneChild has helped more than 2,500 families, and distributions continue. Child Champions shared these heartfelt thanks from the children and their families for the assistance:

“God answered our prayers.”

“God did not leave us.”

One family said, “Last night we had our last meal and we were thinking, ‘What am I going to feed the kids tomorrow?’ And this came on time!”  One Child Champion added, “Sometimes we did not understand the words because it was mixed with their tears.”

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