Following yesterday’s explosion at Beirut Port, which has left thousands injured and caused widespread destruction, the UK has today announced a package of emergency support to Lebanon.
The UK has offered to immediately deploy search and rescue experts with specially trained dogs to help find those caught up in the blast.
Following a call between the Hassan Diab, Prime Minister of Lebanon and the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, the UK has made up to £5 million in emergency humanitarian funding available to help people made homeless by the disaster.
The UK has also offered enhanced support to the Lebanese Armed Forces, who are central to the Government of Lebanon’s response, including tailored medical help, strategic air transport assistance, and engineering and communications support.
The UK has also offered to send an EMT advance clinical advisory team who could provide initial assessment and coordination with search and rescue teams. UK International Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) offer a rapid provision of internationally accredited public health, medical and surgical teams including both NHS and non NHS experts.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
This was a devastating explosion which has caused enormous suffering and damage. The UK is a long-standing friend of Lebanon and the Lebanese people, and will stand with them in their hour of need.
We have offered immediate direct support including search and rescue, emergency medical assistance and up to £5m in humanitarian aid.
International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
We have all been shocked by the scenes of devastation and suffering in Beirut. My heart goes out to all those who have been affected by this tragedy and who have lost loved ones.
The UK stands ready to support the people of Lebanon in their time of need and has offered to send medics and rescue workers to treat those who have been injured.
The damage caused by the blast, which measured 4.5 on the Richter scale and was felt as far away as Cyprus (150 miles from Beirut), is widespread and likely to have long-lasting consequences. Lebanon was already experiencing a major economic crisis and dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, as well as hosting over 1.5 million refugees from the war in neighbouring Syria.
The UK already works closely with Lebanon and this partnership is focused on managing the humanitarian, stability and security implications of the war in Syria.
Since the start of the Syria Crisis, DFID has allocated just under £700 million in humanitarian and development funding to Lebanon, including providing support for sanitation facilities, education for refugees and helped provide jobs for both Lebanese and Syrian communities.