Arab Council Australia is urging all Australians to help Red Cross teams on the ground to provide humanitarian support to people affected by the 4 August 2020 explosion in Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
The massive explosion caused widespread damage in the port area and across the city. Hospitals have been badly damaged and are overwhelmed with the number of people needing help, said Ms Randa Kattan, Chief Executive Officer of Arab Council Australia. At least 200 people have died and more than 5,000 have been injured. These numbers are tragically expected to rise. More than 300,000 people have lost their homes. This blast happened against a backdrop of a country struggling with a severe economic crisis and COVID-19. The people of Beirut need our help.
Australian Red Cross has launched the Beirut Explosion Appeal to channel funding to Lebanese Red Cross to provide humanitarian support to people and communities affected by the devastating explosion. Since the blast, Lebanese Red Cross volunteers and staff have been working around the clock to support people affected by the disaster. They are assisting with search and rescue and evacuations, and providing medical treatment, shelter and psychosocial support, as well as temporary shelter, food, water, hygiene kits, mattresses, masks, gloves and other essential relief items.
More than 125 ambulances and 375 emergency medical staff have been mobilised from around the country to help evacuate and support the injured. First aid stations have been set up around the city to help alleviate the pressure on hospitals and Red Cross teams are transporting patients with intensive care needs to hospitals outside the capital.
Financial donations allow Red Cross the flexibility to help where it is needed most, and directly support ongoing efforts on the ground. Donations will be used to provide immediate and longer-term humanitarian support to people affected by the explosion. We are pleased to support Red Cross work to provide neutral, impartial and independent assistance to the people of Beirut. I urge all Australian families to donate to the Australian Red Cross Beirut Explosion Appeal, Ms Kattan said.
Please give to the Beirut Explosion Appeal online at redcross.org.au/beirut or by credit card by phoning 1800 REDCROSS, 9am to 5pm AEDT. Donations of more than $2 are tax deductible. Donations of goods cannot be accepted.
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