The people of Galway are being asked to show their support for families in Beirut who have been left devastated and struggling since the massive explosion on August 4.
There will be a collection day in Galway on Saturday September 19 to raise funds for the work being carried out in Beirut by the UN’s children’s agency, UNICEF, and also the Adyan Foundation, a Lebanese organisation, which has worked to promote peace through education, dialogue, policy, media and community engagement.
The explosion resulted in about 200 dead and in excess of 300,000 people being made homeless, while 100,000 children are thought to have been displaced. “We’re looking at a long term humanitarian crisis," said Violet Speek-Warney, UNICEF-Lebanon’s deputy representative. "We need to rebuild, to reconstruct, and to think differently at how this country can move forward for children.”
The explosion also destroyed the grain silos located in the port, weakening the country’s ability to feed its population, 50 per cent of which are under the poverty line. According to NGO sources based in Lebanon, due to the pre-existing economic difficulties in the country, perhaps one million residents of Beirut can no longer afford basic necessities.
Following the explosion, Adyan launched the We Stand With Beirut project to provide food donations, repair damaged homes, support small businesses to restart, and offer professional psycho-social support. UNICEF has a team of 213 on the ground, working to provide vital support to health workers, and children and families, whose lives have been devastated.
Those interested in volunteering for the collection should text Richard Kimball on 087 - 2375789.