ActionAid launches Beirut Blast response plan

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ActionAid Arab Region works through partners in Beirut. Emergency response appeals will fund crucial and life-saving work to house and protect women and girls, who are worst affected by this emergency.

ActionAid partner organisation ABAAD (Resource Centre for Gender Equality) has set up an emergency food service for evacuees, emergency workers and disaster volunteers until longer-term programs are established.

ABAAD will adapt its protection services to mobile safe spaces and referral units, admitting high-risk domestic and sexual violence cases to temporary emergency safe shelters across Lebanon.

While general lockdown measures have been suspended for the two-week state of emergency, the risk of Covid-19 spreading rapidly is extremely high. ABAAD has secured three new safe spaces that will serve as Covid-19 isolation units to ensure these referrals are made safely.

Within days, ActionAid Arab Region’s partner organisation RDFL (The Lebanese Democratic Women’s Gathering) will begin the rebuild and reconstruction of homes damaged by the blast. 300,000 people have been displaced as buildings were shattered and destroyed, with families homeless and women and girls at risk on the streets. Blankets and pillows are being procured now to ensure families can get a night’s rest while their homes are rebuilt.

An estimated 10,000 vulnerable households are likely to have been severely affected by the blast and are in need of urgent support according to UNHCR.

Caroline McCausland, Director ActionAid Arab Region, says:

“Many people are showing signs of psychological trauma following the explosion.

“People have been relocated to temporary shelters and family and friends’ houses and in these new environments, unfortunately, women and girls face increased risk of gender-based violence and sexual assault.”

“ActionAid is creating and distributing a new digital platform that coordinates the humanitarian responses of all our partner organizations. This allows women and girls to know what services are available in their new locations.

“Lebanon was already struggling with a surge in Covid-19 cases, one of the worst financial crises in the country’s history and political unrest. The blast has exacerbated many of these problems. ActionAid and our partner organisations ABAAD and RDFL are on the ground in Beirut, working with those most in need during this urgent time.”

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