Nicholson-HI
Lebanon

Three months after blast, major humanitarian challenges remain

Humanity & Inclusion continues its response to humanitarian needs, following the explosion on August 4, in Lebanon. The Beirut explosions killed more than 200 people, injured more than 6,500 others, and caused widespread material damage. The explosions directly affected some 220,000 people living in an estimated 73,000 apartments in 9,100 buildings within 1.8 miles of the epicenter, according to UNHCR.

The situation is extremely tense. A serious economic crisis has left many in despair. A quarter of Lebanese people now live below the poverty line. Many families cannot afford access to basic services like healthcare, or even buy food. The political situation continues to cause widespread resentment. In this very unstable environment, the COVID pandemic is an additional burden and source of stress.

Humanity & Inclusion was one of the first NGOs to assist victims of the explosion by supplying rehabilitation care and mobility aids. Humanity & Inclusion now providing follow-up care to casualties with long-term rehabilitation needs: after surgery and primary health care, people with traumatic injuries such as fractures, amputations, brain, peripheral nerve or tendon injuries, or burns, require continued support to recover their functional independence and prevent long-term disabilities. The organization also supplies medical first aid kits to treat light injuries outside already overstretched hospitals.

 

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Donor support has also extended psychosocial support to people traumatized by the explosion. Damaged homes, a dire economic situation, and political turmoil can cause severe anxiety.

In the coming month, thanks to donor support, Humanity & Inclusion will:

  • support reconstruction efforts and ensure they are accessible to people with disabilities or reduced mobility by sharing its expertise with other NGOs. For example, Humanity & Inclusion will provide technical assistance to teams from other NGO (NRC Shelter) to ensure rehabilitated sites and temporary relocation centres are safe and accessible for people with pre-existing and newly acquired disabilities. Humanity & Inclusion will also support CAMEALEON, an NGO-led network co-managed by the Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam and Solidarités International, so that teams have the tools and knowledge to include people with disabilities in their impact assessments and monitoring.
  • extend its advocacy and awareness-raising efforts on disability mainstreaming in some working groups with Norwegian Refugee Council and International Rescue Committee as entry points, to promote systematic identification of needs of vulnerable people.
  • alongside local partner Mousawat, provide people with disabilities or injuries including blast-related injuries and disabilities with access to specialized services based on HI's mental health psychosocial project and rehabilitation. Mental health services and support for the most vulnerable increase functional independence and help prevent long-term mental illness.
  • identify the mental health needs of every individual in a household, alongside other urgent needs—medical, financial, hygiene, food/nutritional, rehabilitation, and continuity of care. Teams will then refer them for assistance. External referrals will be made to other humanitarian actors, with internal referrals for psychosocial support. Humanity & Inclusion will train Mousawat and its consortium partners to adapt their support to older people or people with disabilities or limited mobility, and provide home-based services via mobile teams for hard-to-reach populations potentially left out of the mainstream response. Vulnerable people will be prioritized for referral and assistance.

 

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