Recent Beirut port explosion that caused massive damages has subsequently evoked a great wave of solidarity around the globe. We have immediately joined the aid efforts – as well as dozens of people from all over the Czech Republic that have sent their financial gifts to the bank account of our public collection. The first financial contribution of 10 000 € from the CCR crisis fund was sent today. Together with this sum, the overall amount of money provided by Caritas Internationalis members to help Beirut exceeds 532 000 € at this moment.
Explosion in Lebanon's capital city caused already 200 deaths and more than 300 000 people lost their homes last week. Lebanon not only faces the challenges of a deep economic crisis and COVID-19 pandemic, but events related to the explosion also significantly deepened the long-term political tensions and citizens' distrust in state institutions.
“We just need to stay safe,” says Nour (captured at the introductory picture) whose home was almost completely destroyed during the explosion.
Caritas Lebanon immediately started to help people that were hit by crisis just like Nour and provided basic medical treatment, as well as emergency shelter, water and food. Additionally, volunteers are helping with cleaning up the debris. Caritas Czech Republic helped colleagues in Lebanon financially in order to provide immediate material assistance to those most in need; it has sent 10 000 € from CCR crisis fund. In order to help Lebanon, we launched a public collection which proceeds will be used to cofinance the joint project in which we'll cooperate with Caritas Lebanon, Caritas Switzerland, Caritas Poland and Caritas Netherlands. Caritas Switzerland will coordinate the project as its employees operate in Lebanon for a long time and are also currently present there.
The joint project aims to provide assistance to poor families from affected area and help them to cope with the first months through provision of accommodation and food. Except that, hygiene kits will be distributed to help people to protect themselves from COVID-19 pandemic that could easily get out of control under current circumstances. In the further phase of assistance, reconstruction of small enterprises is planned to help citizens to regain their self-sufficiency.
“We express our gratitude to governments of other countries and people from abroad for their solidarity and prompt help,” says Nour also to the Czech Republic. You may also contribute to the collection: any amount of money sent to the bank account “55660022/0800, variable symbol 129” can help people as Nour and her family, that lost their homes and livelihood in few seconds. COVID-19 pandemic showed that we aren't blind and deaf to the misfortune of others. Therefore, we believe that we are able to effectively help also in this situation.
You can financially contribute by sending DMS (SMS donation)
to the number 87 777
with the message: “DMS CHARITA SVET 30, 60 or 90”
How do we concretely help in Lebanon?
In a close cooperation with the partner organisation Caritas Lebanon and other european Caritas', we're preparing an emergency response – a concrete plan to help citizens in the affected area of Beirut in the most efficient way. It concerns mainly purchase and provision of basic food and hygiene needs, blankets and clothes, and provision of alternative accommodation; in case of need, medical supplies and medicaments for injured individuals can also be financed from the project. Caritas Switzerland that operates in the country for a long time will coordinate the whole distribution process in cooperation with Caritas Lebanon, Caritas Poland and Caritas Netherlands; collected money won't be transferred to any other organisation. Overhead expenses won't exceed 5% of proceeds as given by law concerning public collections.
How can you help?
Our collection “Caritas for Lebanon” consists of many small gifts from people that contribute with (for instance) 20 CZK or through SMS donation (the smallest possible donation represents 30 CZK in this case). After we count together all of these seemingly “small” gifts, a great sum of money occurs... Nevertheless, we understand that not every good person has the opportunity to donate and therefore we're grateful for every single contribution. Unfortunately, Caritas Czech Republic doesn't have the possibility to transfer material donations to Lebanon and for that reason CCR collects money and will finance assistance directly in the city through cooperation with partner organisations. In case you want to offer clothes, blankets, etc., we can further distribute it – however at home, in the Czech Republic. By that you can improve the quality of life of homeless people, people in difficult life circumstances, mothers with kids living in asylum houses and so on. If you'll contact Caritas that is close to your place of residence, the employees will definitely help you with that. Find the list of Caritas on our webpage.
In the name of those in need, we thank you for any kind of support with all our hearts!