United Nations

The United Nations and partners continue to conduct needs assessments and deliver emergency assistance to people most in need in Lebanon following last week’s massive Beirut explosion, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Wednesday.

The World Food Programme has prepared 150,000 food parcels for distribution to families affected by the economic crisis and COVID-19 lockdown measures.

In addition, it will scale up its cash assistance program in Lebanon tenfold to reach 1 million people, including residents directly affected by the blast, said OCHA.

The UN Refugee Agency has distributed hot meals for 30,000 people, along with food kits for 700 people. Nonfood items and hygiene kits have also been provided, it said. Partners of the UN Population Fund have distributed dignity kits to an estimated 2,000 adolescent girls and women.

Forty front-line social workers have been trained to provide psychosocial support to women affected by the Beirut blast. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is supporting 720 children and adults with psychosocial support through face-to-face sessions, phone calls, and door-to-door visits to families, said OCHA.

UNICEF assessments indicate that 20 public technical and vocational education and training schools that cater to about 8,000 adolescents and young persons have been damaged.

This is in addition to initial assessments by Lebanese education authorities that have identified 120 damaged public and private schools. To make things worse, Lebanon has entered the community transmission phase of COVID-19, with 1,200 cases under investigation.

This is particularly concerning for the thousands of youths and volunteers supporting cleaning and rehabilitation services, said OCHA.

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