JRS stands in solidarity with the people of Beirut and Lebanon during this devastating time

05 August 2020

Our heartfelt condolences go to everyone affected by the massive explosions that rocked Beirut yesterday evening.

Although JRS offices in Beirut sustained damage, we are relieved to report that all staff are safe and accounted for. We continue our commitment to accompany refugees in Beirut and to respond to their needs during this time. We will continue to monitor the situation and its impact on our programs and the refugees we serve.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Beirut and Lebanon during this devastating time and pray especially for those who have lost family and friends.

JRS response

To respond the needs of displaced Syrian households and host community members in the Bourj Hammoud neighbourhood of Beirut, JRS established the Frans van der Lugt centre where it provides a range of services including emergency and basic assistance, psychosocial support, early childhood education and learning support, and adult education.

Since May 2020, JRS has also provided COVID-19 relief in the form of food, hygiene and cash assistance.

Help recovery of JRS Lebanon Programs

The refugee community in Beirut has experienced significant loss. JRS offices and the Burj Hammoud social center and school were all badly damaged as a result of the explosion in Beirut this August.

As an immediate emergency response to the blast, JRS plans to provide emergency assistance over an initial period of four months to affected households in both Bourj Hammoud and Karantina.

The response is focusing on three priorities:

  • Food assistance: JRS prioritizes the provision of in-kind food assistance to address the unmet food security needs of the most vulnerable families. Basic food baskets will be tailored to support the needs of a family of five for one month.
  • Non-food items: Affected households who need to pay for repairs or the replacement of essential household non-food items (e.g. beds, mattresses, cookers etc.) will be provided with assistance
  • Mental health and psychosocial support: The JRS psychologist and social workers have already been in contact with beneficiaries who had been receiving this services from JRS before the explosion took place. JRS will extend this support to up to 500 families in Bourj Hammoud and Karantina.

Consider a gift to JRS/USA so that we may respond to the needs of refugees we serve in Beirut.

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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. Thank you for the concern and support demonstrated by the friends of JRS. As we accompany the most vulnerable in Lebanon, we are grateful for all of our partners. We will rely on the generosity of our donor partners.
Daniel Corrou, SJ, JRS MENA Regional Director

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