In response to the tragic explosion that struck the country’s capital on August 4, 2020, the Global Health Institute (GHI) launched an emergency response plan to support Lebanese citizens as they work tirelessly to repair Beirut and their livelihoods.
Initially, GHI launched the ‘Beirut Port Explosion Missing Persons Database’ to consolidate efforts in locating missing persons from the explosion. The platform assembled lists of diseased, missing, found and hospitalized victims into one database, which additionally included a feature where people can update and add information on missing persons as updates were found. The initiative features a secured hotline to receive calls from families reporting a loved one missing, or who have additional information to share.
In parallel, the Beirut Explosion Support Program (BESUP), launched by the Non-Governmental Organizations Initiative (NGOi) is another initiative that embodies the response of GHI to the explosion. Through its wide database of NGOs responding directly to the explosion crisis at the level of different scopes (e.g. provision of food supplies/meals, restoration services, cleaning streets, medical services, etc.) in the most affected areas, NGOi will assume a coordination role among these NGOs to enhance collaboration and minimize duplication.
In addition to the aforementioned initiatives, the GHI’s ‘COVID Beirut Blast Initiative (COBI)’, serves as a reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic still threatens our health during these challenging times. Under COBI, a group led by GHI staff and formed of over 20 volunteers, set up three stations throughout Beirut and neighboring affected areas in order to provide masks and sanitizers to people rebuilding the area. As COVID-19 cases surge throughout the country, this campaign aims to remind Lebanon’s citizens and public to maintain safety precautions and preventive measures while we move forward through this difficult period.
While Lebanese people muddle through one of the most challenging years in the country’s history, collaborative efforts remain pivotal toward the creation of sustainable solutions and durable change. Let us stand together, safely!