An enormous explosion devastated the city of Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, in what the local mayor called “a national catastrophe.”
The situation in Lebanon is dire. At least 154 people died in the explosion and 5,000 were injured – those numbers are expected to rise over the coming days. The explosion also destroyed vital food stores and left 300,000 people homeless (representing roughly 12 per cent of the city’s population). Five hundred hospital beds, as well as important medical supplies needed for the country’s COVID-19 response, were also damaged in the blast.
At this time, we ask the faithful to please donate to the Lebanon relief effort, if they are able.
The Archdiocese of Toronto will send donations to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), a papal agency with extensive on-the-ground networks in Lebanon. CNEWA staff are currently working to send food, water, medical supplies and hygiene products to Beirut. Spiritual and psychological support will also be provided to those who lost everything in a blink of an eye. Later, CNEWA will rebuild housing and help re-establish those who lost their livelihoods in this disaster.
Those wishing to help may do so in the following ways:
The people of Lebanon – who were already dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and hosting almost one million Syrian refugees – need our assistance. It is at times like these when we are called to respond in a special way to our Christian mission to love our neighbour.