UN Warns of a Humanitarian Crisis after Beirut Explosion

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After the explosion in Lebanon, on Tuesday, August 4th, United Nations (UN) agencies warned that the possibility of a humanitarian crisis is high, said BBC. The blast was caused by approximately 2,070 tonnes of ammonium nitrate improperly stored in a warehouse. 

Before the explosion, Lebanon was suffering an economic crisis; about 75% of Lebanon needed aid, 33% of people lost their jobs, and one million people were living below the poverty line before the pandemic. Now, around 300,000 people are left homeless because of the recent blasts.  The UN officials even expressed their concern for 7 million citizens over the scarce food supply, said the New York Times. The World Food Programme (WFP) recalls that Beirut’s port damage will interrupt their food supply as well as push the prices up. Along with the World Health Organization (WHO), Lebanon’s healthcare systems are in critical condition, with three hospitals out of action. Multiple hospitals have been damaged and the number of patients is overwhelming due to the blast injuries and hospital shutdowns.  Explosion damage costs are exceeding 3 billion, according to Republic World.  

The World Food Programme spokeswoman, Elizabeth Byrs, informs that WFP is sending 5,000 food parcels, which would feed an equivalent of a family of five for a month. Additionally, WFP will import pounds of wheat and flour grains. UN agencies have delivered emergency trauma and surgical supply kits and are in the process of aiding $15 million in order to cover essential needs. Although WHO sent 17 packages consisting of Covid-19 supplies like masks, gowns, gloves, during the pandemic, those supplies have been destroyed in the explosion. Several countries are offering and planning to send aid. The United States will soon send $15 million worth of food and medicines.