Concern Worldwide's team in Beirut has commenced their emergency response programme to help thousands of people whose homes were destroyed or badly damaged by last week's chemical explosion in the Lebanese capital.
Concern is distributing emergency shelter kits to those in greatest need, and supporting groups of volunteers of Lebanese and migrant workers who are responding on the ground.
"We have hit the ground running, moving 230 shelter kits down to Beirut from our existing operations in northern Lebanon," Concern's Country Director Catherine Whybrow said.
"These kits contain tools and materials such as timber and plastic sheeting, to enable us to repair and weather-proof damaged homes. We now in a race against the clock to repair these buildings before the winter rains arrive."
Concern teams who are experienced in providing psycho-social supports, such as counselling to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, are now expanding this support to survivors of last Tuesday's explosion which left 300,000 homeless and 5,000 injured. Concern is aiming to help the most vulnerable groups in Beirut, impacted by last week's explosion. These include low income Lebanese, migrant workers and Syrian refugees.
Concern is providing personnel and resources to support volunteer groups which have sprung up to help the clean-up and recovery. "The groups include everyone from architects and engineers to migrant workers," Concern's Humanitarian advisor Dom Hunt said. "They have never done anything like this before and they are doing this from their hearts. The response has been amazing and we need to support it by providing our expertise."
Concern Chief Executive Dominic MacSorley urged the Irish public to support its Lebanon Emergency Appeal in whatever way they can. "The public response during the first week of the appeal has been fantastic," he said. "It is enabling us to provide rapid assistance directly to people who have lost everything."
To donate to the Lebanon Emergency Appeal visit www.concern.net or phone 1850 410 510.
*For media queries or to arrange an interview with Concern's team in Beirut contact Eamon Timmins, Media Relations Manager, Concern Worldwide at email@example.com or 087 9880524*