Disaster in the midst of crisis: The huge explosion in Beirut in August 2020 drastically exacerbated the economic crisis in Lebanon. Help is assisting small businesses to get back on their feet, creating long-term prospects.
Economic crisis in Lebanon worsens
Lebanon has been in a severe crisis for years. The economic impact of the Corona pandemic has further exacerbated the situation since 2020. Around 1.5 million Lebanese are currently in need of humanitarian aid, in addition to numerous other distressed refugees from Syria.
On August 4, 2020, a devastating explosion rocked the capital city of Beirut. At least 191 people died as a result of the disaster, and over 300,000 lost their homes. Large parts of the city were devastated.
The explosion in Beirut destroyed the entire national granary as well as numerous residential buildings and stores. Many people cannot even afford food, let alone rebuild their homes or businesses. Poverty has been growing even more since then, with around 70,000 people becoming unemployed from one second to the next.
Promoting economic stability
Help is currently supporting 32 small businesses in Lebanon that have been affected by the economic crisis. In line with our guiding principle of helping people to help themselves, they receive financial support so that they can renovate their business premises or finance urgently needed equipment and materials. We focus on companies that have employed up to ten other people and would have to go out of business without support.
We have also already supported the reconstruction of housing: Together with local partners, we helped rebuild 54 homes that were rendered uninhabitable by the explosion. In the process, 15 families with physically impaired family members received equipment to meet their needs. In addition, those affected received psychosocial support and physiotherapy.
- At least 191 people died as a result of the explosion and over 6,000 were injured. 300,000 people could not live in their homes after the explosion because they were severely damaged or completely destroyed. (08/2020)
- The explosion shook Beirut as hard as a 3.5 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale.
- Lebanon's currency has lost 95 percent of its value since the economic crisis began. (03/2023)
- 80 percent of Lebanon's population lives in poverty. (03/2023)
- Approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon. (02/2020)
- In Lebanon, 2.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. (12/2022)
- 112 businesses in Beirut and 32 businesses in Tripoli have already received economic support from Help.
- Help rehabilitated 54 apartments, 15 of which were handicapped accessible: doors and windows were replaced, plumbing and electricity were repaired, walls were painted, masonry was repaired and the structure was strengthened.
- Help improved access to the affected residential buildings for the elderly and people with disabilities by installing ramps, handrails and adapting bathrooms with necessary equipment.
- 45 people with disabilities received physiotherapy. 40 affected people, especially children, received individual psychological therapy to help them come to terms with the traumatic events.
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