Emergency aid campaign “Salam Beirut” – which was launched by Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of HH the Ruler of Sharjah, chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), and an advocate for Refugee Children at the UNHCR – is providing relief to the victims of the explosion that struck Lebanon’s capital of Beirut.
Construction works have commenced on the repairs and restoration of 485 homes destroyed in the Beirut explosion, which will enable 2,900 victims – 225 of whom are refugees – to return to their homes within the next six months.
Led by the Sharjah-based global humanitarian organisation TBHF, the initial projects of Salam Beirut identified two emergency shelter intervention projects to support, including the UNHCR’s “Stand with Lebanon” project and another by Basmeh & Zeitooneh, a registered community relief organisation in Lebanon. Relief work has already commenced in several affected neighbourhoods.
The UNHCR’s “Stand with Lebanon” rehabilitation project has begun with emergency shelter kits being provided to 2,025 Lebanese people and 225 refugees.
The project will also facilitate repair works on 355 damaged houses, including restoring collapsed and damaged windows, doors and roofs, reinstating common infrastructures such as staircases, utilities, and spaces, as well as rebuilding damaged refugee shelters.
The UNHCR is also mobilising its local relief stocks to provide essential supplies such as blankets, mattresses, and plastic sheets to the victims.
Meanwhile, Basmeh & Zeitooneh’s emergency response team is working on restoring 130 houses under the supervision of qualified engineers, including removal of rubble, providing necessary rehabilitation material, electrical maintenance, plumbing and carpentry services, as well as sanitation facilities.
In addition, it is also supplying ready-to-eat meals, bottled drinking water, and other essential supplies to the victims.
The project has also provided temporary housing to the victims and will rehabilitate 650 affected people, including Lebanese nationals as well as refugees, on completion, according to the state-run news agency, Wam.
Speaking about the ongoing campaign, the director of TBHF, Mariam Al Hammadi, said that the entity’s humanitarian inputs focused on the most urgent needs of the affected residents and refugees.
She asserted that the initial projects of the campaign were an ode to people who love the historic city of Beirut, who are coming forward to fulfil their humanitarian and moral duty towards their land and its people.
Al Hammadi said: “Salam Beirut’s humanitarian relief strategy is based on identifying the most pressing needs of the victims of this unprecedented tragedy with our on-ground partners.
“In keeping with this, the repair, restoration, and relief operations targeted as part of the first phase of the campaign commenced after our partners, UNHCR and Basmeh & Zeitooneh, conducted extensive field visits to determine the real and immediate needs of the victims.”
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