UN continues food, aid delivery in Beirut

A UN spokesman said that the world body was continuing with the distribution of food, medical protective gear and shelter kits in support of the recovery effort after the August 4 Port of Beirut blasts.

“The first shipment of 12,500 metric tonnes of wheat flour from the World Food Programme (WFP) was offloaded at the port,” Xinhua news agency quoted Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as saying on Friday.

“The shipment will help to stabilize national bread prices and supplies.”

The WFP has already distributed food for some 3,600 people and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has handed out more than 2,500 shelter kits, Dujarric said.

The World Health Organization said it has distributed 25 tonnes of personal protective equipment to 25 hospitals receiving both trauma and COVID-19 cases in Beirut and surrounding areas.

The Unicef and its partners have organized more than 1,100 young people, including Palestinian volunteers, to clean and rehabilitate homes, the spokesman said.

UN peacekeepers are helping to address the Covid-19 pandemic and help people following the Aug. 4 explosions that killed 177 people and injuring more than 6,000 others.

Some 100 of them have donated blood for the victims of the explosions, Dujarric said.

The initiative, organized in coordination with the Lebanese Red Cross, seeks to address gaps in blood supplies.

Meanwhile, High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who wrapped up a four-day visit to Lebanon, has reaffirmed UNHCR’s immediate support to the more than 100,000 people who were severely impacted by the blasts in Beirut.

During his visit, he saw the devastating impact of the blast and met with Lebanese and refugee families.

Grandi also called on the international community to continue their support and stand by the people of Lebanon.

The emergency appeal to raise $565 million in aid for Lebanon is only 8 per cent funded, with a total of $43 million received so far.

On Friday, the Lebanese army announced the country has so far received 192 aircraft from 42 nations and five ships carrying donations.

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