Exploisons in Beirut: Caritas Launches Emergency Plan
Caritas Internationalis expresses its solidarity and compassion to the Church of Lebanon, to the Lebanese people and to Caritas Lebanon, after the deadly blasts that yesterday’s afternoon flattened parts of Beirut and killed at least 78 people and injured nearly 4,000.
“The situation is critical and this is the first time that we have experienced a situation of such great magnitude, it is apocalyptic, but we don’t stop and we will carry on in order to help all those in difficulty” emphasizes Rita Rhayem. “There are a lot of dead and a lot of injured, and the health situation is likely to worsen quickly, as the toxic gases can cause additional health problems. Caritas Lebanon is preparing for this, but its health centres have no means to face this kind of situation, and rescue operations are made even more difficult by the lack of electricity”.
“The wounded are received in our primary care centres which are overwhelmed, the hospitals are incredibly crowded. They lack everything, including food to support the affected population,” added Rita Rhayem. The young volunteers are mobilized and they go in search of the wounded.
As Caritas Internationalis secretary general Aloysius John points out, yesterday’s large-scale explosions inflicted a further injury to a Lebanon already on its knees due to the economic crisis, the violence, the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of the economic sanctions imposed to Syria. John says that “the international community must intervene urgently and unconditionally to help the population. There is a need to support the efforts of faith-based civil society organizations, in particular Caritas Lebanon, which is present throughout the country to meet basic and urgent needs, especially in this time of tribulation and trials for the Lebanese people”.
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The tragic toll at the moment is of 300 dead and about 250 injured, while more than 216 thousand homes have been damaged. Sindh, the province of which Karachi is the capital, is among the most affected areas of the country.
aritas Europa is alarmed and saddened by the humanitarian disaster that is unfolding after several fires destroyed nearly the entirety of the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos during the night of September 8th. More than 12,000 residents had already been residing in the camp - at four times its capacity - in wretched conditions for months, sometimes extending even years while waiting for their asylum applications to be processed. Having fled from wars, extreme poverty and prosecution, the camp’s residents, including hundreds of children and vulnerable adults, are again bereft of shelter or security. The fire destroyed containers, tents, equipment and all facilities, including those of the Greek asylum service.