August 4 will be a day forever etched in memory for Johnny’s family.

As the sun was setting in the port neighbourhood of Karantina, Beirut, Johnny, his wife, son and mother-in-law had just sat down to dinner. Not long after settling down, an explosion ripped through Beirut.

Johnny with his injured eye

Sally, Johnny’s wife, knew something was wrong immediately. A few minutes later, the family heard a second explosion. Shocked, the first thing that came to mind was that the war had started again. Their survival instincts kicked in quickly and the family ran into the hallway to seek refuge away from the windows.

The explosions were so powerful that it shifted the family’s fridge, creating a shield from the five windows that shattered, sending glass shards everywhere. Johnny, his wife and son all suffered some injuries.

A Crisis within a Crisis

Before the damaging explosions, Lebanon was already facing an economic crisis. COVID-19 only made the situation worse—many lost their jobs, making it difficult to access food and health care. Lebanon is also home to over one million Syrian refugees. With an estimated 300,000 people homeless due to the explosion, the situation has only become more precarious.

Distribution of mattresses

Responding to the Needs

Through local ACT Alliance members, PWS&D is responding to meet the immediate needs and provide longer-term support for the most vulnerable affected populations.

With this support, Johnny and his family received essential items such as food and hygiene supplies, as well mattresses and linens to sustain them for the coming months. They’re extremely grateful for these essential items, as due to their economic situation, they weren’t sure how they would be able to meet their daily needs.

In addition to the distribution of food vouchers and household water and sanitation kits, PWS&D is supporting the rehabilitation of homes and schools damaged by the disaster, the distribution of emergency school kits for boys and girls and vouchers for small businesses to start rebuilding.

To support our ongoing response in Lebanon, click below or call us at 1-800-619-7301 or 416-441-1111 x291.