If you are looking to support those who have been impacted by the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, please consider directing resources toward one of the most vulnerable populations in the region: the refugee community. Many of our fellow MENA-based organizations and businesses have provided resources and avenues for contributing time, money and in-kind support to Beirut’s recovery efforts. Complimentary to those resources, we would like to highlight efforts that specifically support refugee and immigrant communities living in Lebanon.
As a social enterprise, our entire theory of change is built on the education, empowerment, and employment of refugee men and women. Therefore, here is a list of trusted and reputable organizations that are providing much-needed aid to a community that oftentimes slips through the cracks in traditional rescue and recovery efforts. This is not, by any means, an exhaustive resource list. If there is an organization you believe should be included in this list, please let us know through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and provide a link to their website so we can learn more.
Photo Source: Anera; Palestinian refugees supporting Beirut cleanup efforts.
Ultimately, whatever you contribute (time, in-kind support and resources, a mix of both) we encourage you to check out the resources below as a starting point:
- From the website: “Helping refugees and vulnerable communities in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan live with dignity, well-being, and hope.
“Since 1968, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose.”
- Read: Anera Emergency Response in Lebanon
From the website: “We are a Lebanese based non-profit NGO, which supports Lebanon’s most underprivileged and marginalized communities, regardless of religion, political affiliation or nationality.
“Following this tragedy, arcenciel is doubting its efforts to pursue its mission in supporting fragile groups and integrating marginalized people. Building on its experience over the past 36 years, arcenciel is implementing immediately several actions to respond to victims’ most critical needs [...]
“Today, arcenciel counts on the solidarity and support of its partners and friends to sustain its immediate actions, and expand further ones according to the needs assessment from the affected areas.
“We look forward to [you] joining our efforts, and thus contributing to the sustainable development in Lebanon.”
- From the website: “Refugees, most of them fleeing the conflict in Syria, account for almost a quarter of the population in Lebanon. Most refugee families live in unfurnished houses, work sites or tents. CARE works with local authorities to improve water supply and sanitation infrastructure for refugees and host communities, and we meet their most basic and pressing needs, including sustainable livelihood opportunities and economic self-reliance, understanding how emergencies may create or reinforce opportunities for sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls, and protecting girls’ pathways to education.
“CARE began working in Lebanon in 2006, to help meet the needs of people affected by conflict. We initially worked through Lebanese partner organizations, and then through our own country office to address the needs of refugees and their host communities.”
Egna Legna Besidet (Migrant Domestic Workers Fund)
- From the Go Fund Me Description: “Ethiopians are approximately 77% of the total population of domestic workers across Lebanon and they form the bulk of the migrant worker population across the Middle East. In Lebanon, an economic crisis that hit the country hard in the latter half of 2019, put many domestic workers out of a job. As a result of government ordered lockdowns to contain the virus, many of these jobless Ethiopian domestic workers have no money for food and other basic necessities. They are estimated to number in the thousands in Lebanon.”
International Rescue Committee (IRC): Emergency Response
- From the website: “The IRC has launched an emergency response to provide immediate cash and economic assistance to those impacted and displaced by the recent explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.
“We are concerned the needs of the most vulnerable, including refugees, will go unmet as the city struggles to recover from the impact of the blast, as well as faces a coronavirus crisis.
“This latest crisis will only further deepen the suffering of people who have already been pushed to the brink. Lebanon’s economy has been in freefall for months, and Lebanese citizens and refugees alike have been struggling.”
This is Lebanon
- From the website: “We are a non-profit registered in Canada and the United States. We fight on behalf of migrant workers in Lebanon for justice, equality and the dismantling of the abusive kafala system. This means ensuring migrant domestic workers are paid fairly for their work and sent home or transferred from abusive employment. We also work to expose abusers and have their crimes brought to light in the media and in the justice systems. There are very few places abused workers can go for help -- except our page. We depend on the support of generous donors because we rely on voluntary donations to fund the work that we do.”
Photo Credit: Karen Linehan Mroz, "Three Friends." Three young boys walk together through Burj El Barajneh Refugee Camp. Beirut, Lebanon. 2005.
To learn more about the impact of the Beirut explosion on refugees in Lebanon, read through these resources from the UNHCR: United Nations Refugee Agency.
- UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch’s press briefing on the explosions
- “This explosion affected everyone, regardless of nationality or status. Our immediate humanitarian response to the tragic blast covers the entire community -- including Lebanese, refugee and migrant workers. It focuses on the most vulnerable in the community and on two major areas -- shelter and protection. [...] Multi-purpose cash remains the most effective option to provide immediate relief and to support rapid repair and reconstruction needs. It will also help with getting food and covering basic needs and health costs. In the medium-term, minor repair, rehabilitation and ‘common area’ improvements will follow.”
- Refugee Fact Sheet: Refugees in Lebanon
- COVID-19 Response in Refugee Settings in Lebanon
- UNHCR Flash Update on Lebanon: Beirut Port Explosions
To learn about the impact of the Beirut explosion on Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, read throgh these resources from UNRWA: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East.
- Newsroom Press Release: UNRWA Calls on Donors to Include Palestinian Refugees in Emergency Response Plans for Lebanon
- “The daily operations of the UNRWA office in Lebanon continue while the Agency also lends support to the wider relief efforts in the aftermath of the explosion, for example by making its warehouses available for the storage of medicines and other humanitarian supplies by other aid actors. As Palestine refugees are amongst the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon, UNRWA calls on the international community to ensure that aid to them is built into the immediate emergency response and the longer-term plans to support the people in Lebanon.
“‘We must help Palestine refugees in Lebanon weather yet another storm that could push them further to the brink of despair’ said the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Claudio Cordone.”
- Newsroom Dispatches from the Field: Palestinian Institutions Answered Beirut’s Call - Tha-er’s Story