Helping out Beirut - The explosion at the port of Beirut on August 4 impacted the entire city resulting in widespread destruction, loss of many lives, injuries in the thousands and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of citizens. District 7070 is currently looking into possible opportunities for clubs. There are two choices that we have reviewed to date:

Personal Donation matched by the Canadian Government:

Thank you to so many Clubs that made a personal individual donation, that was matched by the Canadian Government .

Global Grant Possibility:

A number of Rotary Clubs in our District 7070 are investigating the possibility of a Global Grant with the Rotary Clubs in Beirut, to see how Rotary can help. The Rotary Club of Newmarket has already set aside $1,000 when a Global Grant is created. If you or your club wish to set aside some funds for a grant, please do so. Currently, our point person is our District 7070 Areas of Focus Action Committee Chair Richard Mewhinney. He can be reached at rmewhinney@rogers.com  . If you have any questions, Richard will be glad to answer them for you. 

Please "Read more" for more information

On August 4, 2020, two strong explosions originating from the Port of Beirut devastated many parts of the city. The blast resulted in more than 200 fatalities and 6000 injuries. Sadly, two Canadian citizens were among those who lost their lives in this tragedy. Extensive infrastructural damage has left more than 300,000 people homeless and many health facilities, including hospitals, inoperable. Search and rescue efforts continue to look for people still reported as missing. Several humanitarian organizations have mobilized quickly to respond to the needs of those most affected.

This catastrophe comes on the heels of several multi-faceted crises facing the country, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which had already put Lebanon’s health system, social services, and economy under severe strain. Today, more than 50% of the population is unemployed, a third of businesses have shuttered and many people are food insecure. At the time of the outbreak, the country was managing civil unrest, major economic and financial crises, and hosting over a million refugees displaced by conflicts in the region. All of these crises have had a detrimental effect on Lebanon and have made access to food, education, health care, jobs and housing almost impossible.

How Canada is assisting Lebanon

In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, Canada provided up to $5 million in humanitarian assistance. Canada later announced an additional $25 million, for a total of $30 million. This funding will help trusted partners address immediate humanitarian needs and support efforts for early recovery. Continued provision of humanitarian assistance, including food, water and sanitation, shelter, and medical assistance, is essential to address the immediate needs of the affected people.

This includes an initial $1.5 million going immediately to trusted humanitarian partners on the ground, including the Lebanese Red Cross via the Canadian Red Cross Society, to help meet the urgent needs of people affected by this crisis. Canada’s contribution will help support emergency medical services and provide shelter, food and other essential items.

Additionally, Canada’s programming and engagement in Lebanon are key components of our whole-of-government Middle East strategy. This strategy invests up to $3.5 billion over five years (2016-2021) to respond to the ongoing crises in Iraq and Syria, and their impact in the region, in particular on Jordan and Lebanon. Specifically, Canada's humanitarian assistance helps supply basic needs and services, such as health care and access to education, water, food and shelter for vulnerable and at-risk populations.

Task force on Lebanon

To ensure that affected Canadians and their families have the consular assistance and other support they need to navigate this difficult time, the Government of Canada set up a task force on August 13, 2020.

The task force will support the delivery of consular services, and ensure that questions related to immigration can be quickly addressed. Lebanese citizens in Canada on a temporary basis are also able to extend their stay in Canada if they are unable to return home because of the explosion. Canada will waive the cost of documents related to renewing their status for them as well as for Canadians and permanent residents in Lebanon who need to come home.

Lebanon Matching Fund

Recognizing the generosity of Canadians and their desire to assist those affected by the explosion, the Government of Canada launched the Lebanon Matching Fund on August 8, 2020.

How the Matching Fund worked

For every eligible dollar donated by individuals to the Humanitarian Coalition and its members to respond to the Beirut explosion between August 4 and 24, 2020, the Government of Canada provided the equivalent to the Humanitarian Coalition, up to a maximum total amount of $5 million.

This funding is part of the $30 million in support that Canada is providing through key humanitarian partners.

You Can Still Make a Donation 

The best way for Canadians to help people affected by the humanitarian disaster in Beirut is to donate money. Donations can be made to the Humanitarian Coalition or one of its members.

How to make a donation 

  1. Visit the Lebanon Crisis page of the Humanitarian Coalition’s Appeal.

 

The Humanitarian Coalition

The Humanitarian Coalition and its members will be responsible for the programming they implement in the affected region with the use of Canadian donations. More information about the organizations’ specific planned activities can be obtained from the Humanitarian Coalition or its members.

Humanitarian Coalition members will respond to humanitarian needs through emergency relief activities, by providing food, water and sanitation programs, livelihood support, nutrition, emergency shelter and other essential services.