As 2021 begins, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Lebanon are continuing to work with their neighbors to recover and rebuild after the massive explosion at the Port of Beirut on August 4, 2020. Survivors of the disaster are trying to move on with their lives in spite of overwhelming challenges and personal discouragement.

The explosion was the most recent setback to a people dealing with hyperinflation and devalued currency. The Lebanese population also faces a rise in COVID-19 infections at a time when several city hospitals have been damaged or destroyed.

In spite of the tumult, people are making the best of their circumstances and helping others. Nongovernmental organizations are working to provide food, medical help and temporary shelter. The Church’s humanitarian arm, Latter-day Saint Charities, has donated nearly $2 million in aid for the country and is working with local partners to supply food and medicine.

In one project with MedGlobal, much-needed medicines are being distributed to clinics in the Beirut area. This video from MedGlobal highlights the human impact of the donation, as medical providers still struggle to keep up with demand.

Latter-day Saint Charities is funding a number of other projects in Lebanon, including:

  • MedGlobal provided medical supplies to four local hospitals and mobile clinics. The money was also used to train health care workers how to identify those with mental health needs and refer them for treatment.
  • Project HOPE partnered with the Rene Moawad Foundation to provide emergency health supplies, including 165 pallets of medications, syringes, bandages, gauze and N95 masks.
  • International Medical Corps delivered medical supplies to five health centers in Beirut. The donation from Latter-day Saint Charities also funded 3,000 hygiene and sanitization kits for patrons who come to the centers.
  • Rahma Worldwide handed out food baskets and hygiene kits to 5,000 families affected by the explosion.
  • Convoy of Hope is assisting displaced families and elderly with food, water and medical support. The Latter-day Saint Charities donation also supports debris removal and home cleanup in Beirut.
  • The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is managing a food voucher system to help families and local businesses get up and running again.
  • Son of ManThis charity run by Christian nun Mother Agnes sponsors a central food kitchen for homeless people and others in need of hot meals.

In addition to the Church’s humanitarian relief efforts, individual Latter-day Saints are trying to help their neighbors as they all clean up and rebuild. Beirut is home to a small Church congregation that meets on one floor of a high-rise building. The retail store beneath the church was damaged, as were the floors above, but the Church’s meeting rooms were untouched.

Read more at Church News

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