The situation in Beirut

Dumbarton Churches Together have supported the charity Embrace the Middle East for a number of years. The following news update was received earlier this week and circulated to churches in Dumbarton:

The explosion in Beirut

The massive explosion that ripped through Beirut on Tuesday 4 August was felt as far away as Cyprus.

At the time of writing (6/8/2020), at least 135 people have been reported dead, more than 5,000 injured (with many more still missing), and an estimated 300,000 people have had to evacuate their homes.

The explosion destroyed three hospitals and severely damaged others, including the clinic run by one of our partners. Silos containing approximately 80% of Lebanon’s grain reserves were destroyed, guaranteeing food shortages.

The explosion could not have come at a worse time. Lebanon is home to more than 1.5 million refugees from Syria, Iraq and Palestine. Partly because of the strain of coping with such a huge number of refugees, Lebanon’s economic problems have been building for years. The failure of successive governments to manage the economy came to a head in late 2019. Today Lebanon ranks as the third most indebted country in the world. The currency has devalued over 80% in the past year resulting in hyperinflation, and unemployment continue to soar. It is increasingly difficult for families to put food on the table.

Responding to the call of Christ to care for the marginalised, the local church and church affiliated organisations, including Embrace partners, have worked tirelessly for decades – often in the face of enormous challenges, including a 15-year civil war- to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable in Lebanon.

Embrace the Middle East?

Embrace the Middle East is an ecumenical Christian charity with over 160 years’ experience working in the region and almost a hundred years in Lebanon.

Embrace has longstanding relationships with 12 Lebanese Christian organisations. Our partners work with Lebanese families and Syrian and Palestinian refugees in the areas of primary healthcare, humanitarian assistance, education, livelihoods support and specialist disability services.

We are in constant contact with our partners, all of whom thankfully are physically safe, but in a state of huge shock as the impact of the explosion unfolds. No one has escaped untouched.

In the midst of assessing the damage to their own buildings and projects, our partners are responding to the immense needs of the many affected by the explosion providing shelter, care and essential provisions, as you can see from the video below produced by one of our partners in Lebanon, LSESD.

Lebanon needs our prayers right now but it also needs our financial support where we are able to give. Many of us want to give but it is not always obvious what the best way to give is.

In response to these immense needs, Embrace has launched an appeal specifically for the work of our partners in Lebanon. The money we raise will go directly to the work of our partners in Lebanon as they seek to respond to the needs of those affected by these crises.

If you wish to give please click below.

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