Canadians arrive in Beirut to deliver relief to explosion victims
A group of Canadians are doing what they can to help relieve efforts in Beirut following a devastating explosion earlier this month.
On Monday, Ali Gilano, Daniel Hassan, and Nasser Kirameddine arrived in Lebanon's capital to assist with emergency relief efforts for those who have been affected by the explosion.
Canadians arriving in Beirut to help victims of the recent explosion #Beirut pic.twitter.com/YbOnFm23fJ— Freshdaily (@freshdaily) August 17, 2020
Kirameddine told Freshdaily what it means to him to be part of this emergency aid group.
"The people of Lebanon are really struggling with everything that has been going on for the past few months. They've been in crisis mode well before this explosion occurred and now with the port being completely destroyed along with thousands of houses and lives lost, this crisis has moved on to become something much worse," he said.
"I myself am a Lebanese-Canadian and being able to be here with my people providing aid through the help of the Canadian Humanitarian Coalition is an indescribable feeling, I am grateful to be a part of this journey to recovery."
In comparing this trip to the last time Kirameddine visited Beirut, he said that the atmosphere is much different.
"The last time I was here, Beirut was a lively, bustling city filled with life. Standing here today , it's very different. The atmosphere has changed, but the people of Lebanon are resilient and every person I've met is ready and actively taking steps to help wherever they can."
The team has made the journey on behalf of the Humanitarian Coalition and will be joined by Mohamad Fakhi, owner of the popular middle eastern restaurant chain, Paramount Fine Foods.
"Canadians have donated generously over the past week to help those on the ground in Lebanon. We want to ensure that their donations are going directly to those in need," Richard Morgan from the Humanitarian Coalition said in a press release.
"Our team will participate in aid distributions on the ground that are providing food, medicine, medical supplies, sanitary products and other items to this who have been affected by the blast."
According to Kirameddine, the team will also be providing temporary shelters and money to those in need while also cleaning rubble from the streets and repairing damaged water facilities.
In addition to the money raised by the Humanitarian Coalition, the Canadian government is matching all donations received through the organization and its member agencies up to $5 million.
Members of the relief group include staff from Islamic Relief Canada and CARE Canada and they will be on the ground in Beirut until Aug. 24.
The explosion took place on Aug. 4 due to a large fire in a warehouse at the Port of Beirut. An initial explosion was followed by a series of smaller blasts and a even larger explosion that sent waves radiating throughout the city.
The tragedy sadly took about 200 lives and injured over 6,000 others.
Islamic Relief Canada
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