canada beirut

This is how Canada is helping Beirut after tragic explosion

The Canadian government has announced that it will be providing an additional $25 million in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon following an explosion last Tuesday. 

This money will be added to the original $5 million announced last week, bringing Canada's humanitarian and recovery aid total for Beirut to $30 million.

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francois-Philippe Champagne took to Twitter on Wednesday to say that $1.5 million of the money will go to partners including the Lebanese Red Cross to provide food, shelter, and emergency medical services. 

As the effects of the explosion continue to become more clear, International Development Minister Karina Gould told CBC News that the $5 million is Canada's initial commitment to Lebanon and that it could grow. 

"This is about saving lives in the next 48 hours and then making sure that people have access to emergency shelter, food, health care and medicine," she said.

Other organizations and businesses in Canada have taken it upon themselves to support those affected by this tragedy.

In Vancouver, Lebanese restaurant Nuba will be hosting a three-day, "buy-one-give-one" fundraiser at all four of their locations, beginning on International Beer Day on Aug. 7.

Customers who purchase a pint of the restaurant's house special Tumeric Ale for $7.95 will receive a free second pint to enjoy or share with a friend. All proceeds from the beer sales will be donated to the Lebanese Red Cross. 

"Being a Lebanese restaurant, the people of Lebanon are close to our hearts. We have staff who are from there as well," said Darragh McFeely, Nuba's director of operations. "There are thousands of people affected by this, and by relation, tens of thousands of people are going to have family members who are affected by this. It's affected us deeply."

In Toronto, Beiteddine restaurant is doing something similar. They'll be donating all proceeds from sales this weekend to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Elsewhere, The Lebanese Club of Ottawa (LBO), a non-profit organization, has launched an online fundraiser in support of the victims of the explosion. Their goal is to raise $20,000 for the Lebanese Red Cross and for various hospitals dealing with the aftermath in Lebanon. So far, they have raised over $11,000.

"There are no words to explain what Lebanon is going through right now," said Ahmad Araji, president of the the LBO. "This is the last thing the country needed right now with the economic crisis."

To help the LBO, Araji said that restaurants in Ottawa are posting about the fundraiser and donating proceeds from the day's sales.

Besides collecting money, Araji and the LBO are also bringing awareness to the importance of donating blood in Beirut right now.

"Lebanon is in critical need of blood. Hospitals are in desperate need of blood."

The explosion, which occurred in the country's capital of Beirut, killed 135 people and injured approximately 5,000 others.

The ongoing investigation is looking into how 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate was stored at a facility for six years and why it was left there.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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