August 7, 2020

A massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital, Beirut, early on August 4, 2020, causing utter destruction in the port area of the city and damaging homes up to six miles away. It was followed moments later by a blast wave that knocked people to the ground. At least 135 people were killed, about 5,000 injured and hundreds of thousands made homeless.

The explosion particularly affected East Beirut’s Christian neighborhoods, damaging churches and Christian ministries, with many Christians among the injured, homeless and dead. It also destroyed the grain silos at the port, where most of the country’s supplies of wheat were stored. Bread is the staple food in Lebanon. Another terrible blow is the loss of huge stores of medicines, which were housed near the place of the explosion.

The devastating blast appears to have been triggered when a fire ignited a warehouse storing ammonium nitrate.

Christians in Lebanon were already desperate due to the post-Covid economic crisis bringing food shortages and social unrest, before the August 4, 2020 explosion devastated Beirut, destroying vital stores of grain and medical supplies.

The world’s heart goes out to Lebanon, as this latest affliction falls on a country hosting 1.5 million refugees and plummeting into economic meltdown. Reports say that 20% of the population is already malnourished. As the injured and homeless are dispersed from Beirut, the tragedy in the capital is spreading to affect every part of this small and fragile country.

Many Christians are in desperate need following the explosion. Through our existing project partners in Lebanon, Barnabas Aid can send immediate assistance to our brothers and sisters who have suffered in this disaster. Urgent needs are food, medicines and housing.

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