Canada providing humanitarian assistance in response to Beirut explosion

FOREIGN Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and International Development Minister Karina Gould on Wednesday announced that Canada is providing up to $5 million in humanitarian assistance in response to the tragic explosion that occurred in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4.

This includes an initial $1.5 million going immediately to trusted humanitarian partners on the ground, including the Lebanese Red Cross via the Canadian Red Cross Society, to help meet the urgent needs of people affected by this crisis.

Canada’s contribution will help support emergency medical services and provide shelter, food and other essential items.

Champagne said: “Canada stands with the people of Lebanon in this tragedy and we are ready to assist however we can, as I have articulated in my two recent conversations with my Lebanese counterpart. This initial contribution will help meet the immediate, most urgent needs of those devastated by this explosion.”

Gould added: “The first days of a humanitarian disaster are crucial and Canada is here to help. This funding will provide safe shelter, clean water, medicines and basic necessities for those in need. As a government, we are mobilized to ensure that Canada is there to bring much-needed assistance to the Lebanese population.”

Through its Middle East engagement strategy, Canada is providing more than $47 million in humanitarian assistance funding for crisis-affected populations in Lebanon in 2020. This assistance includes, among other things, support for access to basic health services and the supply of medical assistance.

THE federal NDP critic for International Development Heather McPherson said in a statement: “The humanitarian aid announced by the federal government this evening is gravely needed by those impacted by the devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. 

“People across the country and around the world have been reaching out to help the people of Lebanon who were already struggling under political instability, the threat of economic collapse, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Going forward, the Lebanese people will require significant international support and Canada must be there to help.  

“Beyond assisting with the immediate food, medical, and other needs, the federal government must take concrete action to assist the international community’s long-term humanitarian efforts.”

Friends and relatives of Canadian citizens in Lebanon can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling 613-996-8885 or 1-800-387-3124, or by sending an email to Canadian citizens in Lebanon in need of emergency consular assistance should contact the Embassy of Canada in Beirut at 961 (4) 726-700 or or call Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre at +1 613-996-8885.”