Rebuilding Lebanon: One Year After the Explosion

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In August 2020, Lebanon’s capital city, Beirut, was ravaged by one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever – an eruption of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that was not only felt beyond the capital, but also in neighboring countries up to 150 miles away.  

Over 200 killed, 6,500 injured, 300,000 displaced, and massive property damage, the toll of the dual blast on residents and the economy was devastating. Already facing a serious economic, political, and health crisis, the country was further weakened with long-term consequences still felt over a year later.  

Days after the explosion, Fondation de France was on the ground, identifying and responding to both immediate and long-term needs. Thanks to the generosity of world-wide supporters, over €3 million (approximately $3.4 million U.S. dollars) has been raised for the Solidarity with Lebanon project to help those affected by the crisis in four key areas: social and psycho-social assistance, youth programs, local economic recovery, and housing and building renovations.  

Providing social and psycho-social assistance

After a sudden and shocking event of mass destruction, psychological distress is a significant reality and concern – especially for residents close to Beirut’s port (where the blast was located) who were already particularly vulnerable and impoverished.  

Fondation de France is backing 11 psycho-social projects that aim to prevent psychological disorders, provide counseling to struggling individuals, and bring social and financial support to the most vulnerable. Since the blast, over 10,000 struggling families have received psycho-social or medical assistance and over 3,000 have been granted emergency financial support.   

 

Supporting Lebanon’s Youth

In the wake of multiple crises, one after another, Fondation de France is supporting social, educational, and cultural activities for the youth population to uphold community connections and prevent further unrest.  

These activities have helped youth process and express their experience after the explosion, given them a respite from their day-to-day routines, and provided continuous education. With nearly 3,000 young people receiving educational, psychosocial, and cultural assistance and opportunities and over 500 receiving new training, these programs are contributing to help the next generation reach their full potential. 

 

Prioritizing Beirut’s Economic Recovery

The already fragile economy was damaged by the disaster – hitting especially hard brick-and-mortar small businesses and entrepreneurs whose storefronts, equipment, and inventory were destroyed. 

Fondation de France has been working over the last year to stimulate the economy by accelerating the renovations of local shops – such as grocery stores, cafes, salons, and mechanics – and providing financial aid to micro-entrepreneurs.  

The impact has been significant and will be long-lasting. Debt relief, reimbursement for losses, and renovations has been granted to over 300 companies and job training has empowered over 200 individuals. 

 

Sheltering Vulnerable Families and Rebuilding Community Centers

Businesses were not the only property out of the nearly 10,000 buildings shaken by this disaster. Suddenly, families found themselves in houses without doors or windows, and important public centers were destroyed.  

Lebanon

Fondation de France has been working to repair over 1,200 housing units for the most vulnerable victims – including neighborhoods with historic buildings whose restoration is more complex. 

Recommended gifts received by Friends of Fondation de France for the Fondation de France Solidarity with Lebanon project have contributed to help the restoration of 13 public buildings, such as libraries and schools, that are foundational to the community. 

 

Your Solidarity with Lebanon

After more than a year since the explosions, the community of Beirut still needs our supportLearn more about a critical way you can continue to show solidarity and have a lasting impact on the people of Lebanon 

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