Focus of humanitarian aid after Beirut blasts shifts to mid-term: UN

Beirut Blast

The United Nations and partners on Friday issued a report card on aid following the Beirut blasts and said the focus is changing to medium-term interventions heading to longer-term recovery and reconstruction.

More than 1,000 households have been helped with multi-purpose cash-based assistance across affected neighborhoods in Beirut, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Close to 200 micro, small and medium enterprises have also been supported with rehabilitation works.

Shelter partners have distributed 7,500 weatherproofing kits for more than 25,000 people. The emergency measures will help ensure adequate shelter until repairs and reconstruction are completed.

Protection partners have supplied various psychosocial support services to more than 2,200 people and more than 1,300 women and girls have received sexual reproductive health and gender-based violence support services, OCHA said.

Water supply connections have been restored to more than 3,000 buildings, reaching more than 15,000 people. Rehabilitation activities continue across Beirut, with plans to install more than 2,500 water tanks and 80 new pumps to help meet basic water and sanitation needs.

A Multi-Sector Needs Assessment is developing a comprehensive understanding of needs for humanitarian activities and eventual recovery and reconstruction efforts, OCHA said. As of Tuesday, 19,000 households in affected areas have been assessed, with a total of 35,000 households expected by the end of October.

So far, the UN-coordinated response to the Aug. 4 explosions seeking 344.5 million U.S. dollars for immediate life-saving needs for three months is less than 18 percent funded.

Support is needed to scale up emergency relief efforts for the most vulnerable and to prevent the situation from worsening, OCHA said. Lebanon requires substantial and long-term assistance to support economic reform, recovery and reconstruction.

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