Beirut explosion: Emergency evaluations conducted by Humanity & Inclusion revealed that common injuries include severe burns, complex fractures and amputations
Press release | 7th August 2020, 12:00
Press release | 7th August 2020, 12:00
Scenes of devastation following a huge explosion in Beirut leave no doubt as to the immediate and urgent needs of the more than 4,000 people injured. Emergency evaluations conducted by Humanity & Inclusion in Beirut’s hospitals revealed that common injuries include, severe burns, complex fractures and amputations to extremities (fingers, toes) , as well as thousands of major and minor injuries caused by shattered glass.
Many people have already undergone surgery and need physical therapy, crutches, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids in order to begin their recovery. Humanity & Inclusion estimates that approximately 500 people are likely to need physical rehabilitation to aid their recovery. Humanity & Inclusion’s physical therapists, psychosocial, and livelihood experts will support the people impacted by the blast, focusing on post-surgical physical therapy and mental health support, in particular.
Hospitals in Beirut are damaged and under-resourced. To contribute to the collective humanitarian effort, Humanity & Inclusion will be providing wheelchairs, walking frames and other mobility aids to victims with serious immediate needs who may be discharged from hospital early. The organization will also distribute wound treatment kits containing alcohol, plasters and bandages to allow those with minor injuries to treat themselves at home and avoid over-burdening hospitals.
Humanity & Inclusion’s offices in the Achrafieh quarter of Beirut 2km from the site of the explosion have been heavily damaged, as have the homes of several of our team. Fortunately none of our staff was seriously injured. Humanity & Inclusion’s Head of Mission, Caroline Duconseille, says “Once I had checked that all of my team was safe, we began to visit hospitals and partners to understand what the needs of the injured are. Humanity & Inclusion has an important role to play in the coming days to reduce the impact of this disaster”.
Caroline was on a roof terrace at the moment of the explosion: “I felt the building tremble slightly. Then we heard the first explosion with white smoke, shortly followed by an enormous one and lots of orange smoke. The chairs began to fly everywhere and all the glass in the building opposite shattered. It was terrifying!”
Humanity & Inclusion has a team of 98 staff in Lebanon as well as a network of partners, who have mobilized to bring their humanitarian expertise and resources to those in need. Additional emergency response experts will arrive in the country in the coming days.
- Interview available upon request with Caroline Duconseille, Head of Mission for Humanity & Inclusion in Lebanon. Caroline is based in Beirut. She is fluent in English and is media trained.
- Humanity & Inclusion launch an emergency appeal to support its response in Beirut: https://humanity-inclusion.org.uk/beirut-explosion
In 2019, the actions of our 90-person team directly benefited 78,000 people there, among them many Syrian refugees with complex injuries from the conflict, or disabilities. Details about our actions in Lebanon are here – https://humanity-inclusion.org.uk/en/country/lebanon
Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Humanity & Inclusion is an international NGO working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. With donor support, we work tirelessly alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable groups to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights. In 2019, through 441 projects in 61 countries, our donors provided direct support to 2.8 million people.
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