Grave fears for vulnerable children caught up in Beirut explosion

Photo: Getty Images

Aid and development agency World Vision is assessing the damage caused by a massive explosion in Lebanon’s capital; with local staff labelling it one of the “most difficult events the country has ever had to deal with”.

The non-government organisation is extremely concerned for the welfare of the vulnerable children and families in Beirut. The blast tore through several downtown neighbourhoods, destroying homes, shattering glass and releasing thick smoke into the air. Many people have been left homeless.

“The blast has shaken not just Beirut, but the whole country. World Vision has worked in Lebanon since 1975, both with the local population and a significant number of Syrian refugees,” says World Vision Lebanon’s Communications Manager Josephine Haddad.

“We are really worried about the families and children who live in the affected areas. We are trying to account for those we work with and assess the impact this has had on them. This disaster could not come at a worse time; Lebanon is in the middle of an economic crisis and has also seen the rate of COVID-19 infections drastically increase over the past few weeks.”

The number of dead and wounded continues to grow. The cause of the blast remains unknown.

“We are concerned for the health and safety of the people in Lebanon, especially all of those injured. We pray for their fast recovery, and for the souls of those who have passed away in this tragic blast,” says the head of World Vision Lebanon, Hans Bederski.

Two World Vision staff received minor injuries in the explosion and are in a stable condition.

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