LEBANON. Beirut. UNICEF is saddened at the loss of life following the horrific explosions in Lebanon. According to the 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 they are aware that those who survived are traumatized and in shock.
UNICEF’s team in Beirut has not been spared. One of UNICEF’s colleagues lost his spouse, seven of their staff were mildly injured and dozens of colleagues’ homes were damaged. Most of their staff- as with most people in Lebanon- are in a state of shock.
Ms. Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon said, “UNICEF is co-ordinating closely with authorities and partners on the ground to respond to the needs of those affected, including health workers and other front-line workers. UNICEF have provided drinking water to the 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.”
Explosions 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 meant that hospitals are already overwhelmed, and front-line workers are exhausted.