EU supports UNHCR to repair homes of thousands affected by Beirut blast

Thu 12 Nov 2020 at 15:09 Initiatives

NNA - The European Union (EU) has allocated EUR 7 million in additional funding to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to provide housing support to thousands of people impacted by the Beirut blasts on August 4. This EU humanitarian contribution will help more than 10,500 vulnerable people among the most affected communities restore their homes through minor repairs and light rehabilitation works.

The devastating explosions that hit the Beirut Port destroyed large parts of the city, killing at least 190 including many children, injuring more than 6,500 people and leaving hundreds of thousands with damaged homes and sometimes even homeless. The effects of the blast compounded an already critical situation in a country facing a multitude of crises that have pushed many into extreme poverty.

"The EU continues to help those most affected by the Beirut explosion live in safety and dignity. The funding provided to UNHCR will ensure that the people can start rebuilding their lives. The EU will not leave those in need alone," said European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic.

With the generous support of the EU, UNHCR’s shelter interventions will range from minor repairs such as restoring or replacing damaged windows and doors, to more substantial rehabilitation works including electrical, water and sanitation, tiling, plastering and minor concrete works, among others. These activities aim to restore families’ sense of privacy, security and dignity in their homes.

UNHCR will complement the above interventions, also thanks to the EU, with the rehabilitation of more than 50 common areas such as staircases, lobbies, communal spaces and retaining walls. This will be crucial to enable residents to safely and securely access their buildings.

"We are very grateful for this contribution from the EU, which enables some of the most vulnerable people affected by the explosion, such as older persons living alone, to recover a home," said UNHCR Representative in Lebanon, Mireille Girard. "A home is not only a shelter from the wind, rain and cold, it also restores normalcy, which is critically important for people’s emotional recovery after an extraordinarily traumatic incident such as the explosion they have lived through."

Over the past year, Lebanon has endured multiple shocks, notably a major economic and financial crisis that led to a sharp devaluation of the Lebanese Pound, high inflation and extensive loss of jobs which, compounded by the impact of COVID-19, have increased poverty levels exponentially.

UNHCR continues to work closely with donors and partners to provide lifesaving and essential support to vulnerable communities in Lebanon.--UNHCR Lebanon


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