UN agencies continue aid delivery to Beirut blast survivors

UN agencies have continued aiding survivors of the August 4 Beirut port explosions by delivering medicine, health services, food, water and psychological support, an official said.

“Mobile health clinics run by the UN Refugee Agency are providing medicines and health services to those most in need,” Xinhua news agency quoted Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as saying on Thursday.

“Hundreds more have received first aid services and psychosocial support.”

A dedicated helpline is being established for timely response to requests for assistance, he said.

UNICEF is distributing 10,000 tetanus vaccines, 42 emergency kits and emergency drugs to primary health care centres in need, according to Dujarric.

Some 5,000 female hygiene kits have been provided to women and girls, following a UNICEF rapid needs assessmen.

UNICEF is also providing food, water, clothes and detergent to 700 children and their caregivers, he added.

With Lebanon importing about 85 per cent of their food, having the heavily damaged port operational again is a priority.

The spokesman said the port’s container terminal resumed operations on Monday, but only at about 30 per cent capacity.

However, the first ships have docked and wheat already is being offloaded.

The port’s capacity is expected to increase over the coming week and the World Food Programme has a shipment of 17,500 metric tonnes of wheat flour due to arrive in a week’s time, he said.

Two huge explosions rocked Port of Beirut on August 4 killing at least 171 people and wounding 6,000.

The explosions pose a great challenge to Lebanon, especially as the country is already facing the worst economic crisis in its history and also amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.