The Jesuits in Beirut have immediately responded to the massive explosion which shook the city on August 4, 2020. More than 150 people have died, thousands are wounded and over 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes. There is massive damage to the infrastructure of the city.
This has been a difficult experience for everyone, but particularly for those who have already fled war and conflict. JRS social workers and psychologists have already begun hearing these difficulties. The buildings will be repaired more easily than the human wounds. The work of accompaniment now will be the long-term healing that is necessary for human flourishing.
- Daniel Corrou SJ, JRS Regional Director
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Lebanon suffered great losses because of the explosion. Schools, regional offices, country offices, and a social centre which was only 1.5 km away from the epicentre of the explosion, were all badly damaged. The greatest losses for JRS Lebanon, however, were at the social centre in Burj Hammoud where two beneficiaries of their services died, with one person still missing.
The explosion has wrought massive suffering and grief to a city and a country whose citizens have already been hit hard by a spiraling socio-economic crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those affected include forcibly displaced people, many of whom are from Syria, that have sought refuge in Lebanon.
We stand in solidarity with the Jesuits and the people they serve, as they grieve and as they begin the long and hard road to recovery. We ask that you stand with us and help support them in this process of recovery and rebuilding.
The Jesuits and JRS teams are expanding basic needs distribution, scaling up the ongoing COVID-19 relief. Access to food, proper hygiene and emergency shelter are all the more critical now in Lebanon.
They need all the resources and help available. We ask you to be generous in your support of their recovery efforts.
In solidarity and with gratitude,
Canadian Jesuits International