NEW YORK (August 5, 2020) – “UNICEF is saddened at the loss of life following the horrific explosions in Lebanon.
“According to latest reports, the death toll could be as high as 100 with 4,000 wounded and over 300,000 people displaced. UNICEF is concerned that children are among the casualties and we are aware that those who survived are traumatized and under shock.
“Our hearts are with children and families who have been impacted, especially those who lost their loved ones. We wish a speedy recovery to the injured.
“UNICEF’s team in Beirut has not been spared. One of our colleagues lost his spouse, seven of our staff were mildly injured and dozens of personnel’s homes were damaged. Most of our staff- as are most people in Lebanon- are in a state of shock.
“UNICEF is coordinating very closely with authorities and partners on the ground to respond to the needs including of health and other front-line workers. We have provided drinking water to staff at the Beirut port and are supporting the Ministry of Public Health to take out what is left of stored medicines and vaccines in a warehouse at the port. Child protection partners are providing psycho-social support to affected children across the city. Over the coming days, we will increase our efforts to reach families in need with much needed assistance.
“Yesterday’s catastrophe in Beirut adds to what has already been a terrible crisis for the people of Lebanon compounded by an economic collapse and a surge in COVID-19 cases. The pandemic already meant that hospitals are overwhelmed, and front-line workers are exhausted.
“UNICEF confirms its commitment towards the people of Lebanon, the authorities and all partners on the ground. We are on the ground and will do everything possible to provide much needed assistance today and in the long run.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.