Growing needs of survivors from Beirut blasts remain unmet: Lebanese Red Cross

BEIRUT: The Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) announced on Friday that the growing humanitarian needs of the survivors from the Aug. 4 explosions in Beirut remain unmet.
In order to fulfil the needs of the survivors, the LRC will distribute 5 million U.S. dollars in cash every month to at least 10,000 families to enable them to buy food, said George Kettaneh, secretary general of the LRC, in a statement issued by the humanitarian organization.
“In view of the impact and severity of this disaster, many people will depend on national and international donor support for a long time before they can rebuild their lives and their livelihoods,” Kettaneh noted.
The two huge explosions that rocked Port of Beirut on Aug. 4 have so far killed at least 190, injured some 6,500 and left 300,000 homeless.
Among the more than 6,000 households that have been assessed, 96 percent need assistance with shelters, home repairs, medical care, cash and food assistance, according to the statement.
The assessments indicate that 57 percent of the survivors assessed have a family member suffering a chronic illness that requires medication, eight percent live with a disability, and five percent are pregnant or lactating mothers.
“Because of banking restrictions since October 2019, only 13 percent reported having savings they could access,” the LRC statement said.
Meanwhile, David Schenker, U.S. assistant secretary of state for near east affairs, said Thursday that the U.S. is preparing to impose new sanctions against some Lebanese officials.
Schenker, who arrived in Beirut on Wednesday for a two-day visit, said he won’t mention the names of the officials who will be targeted by the new sanctions for the time being, MTV local channel reported.
Schenker noted that the U.S. is coordinating with France with regard to the Lebanese crisis.
“We are in continuous contact with France and we agreed with the European country on the need for reforms in Lebanon,” Schenker said.
French President Emmanuel Macron said two days ago during his visit to Lebanon that some countries will attempt to impose sanctions against Lebanese officials if authorities in Lebanon fail to implement the needed structural reforms within eight weeks.
Lebanon has been going through the worst economic and financial crisis in its history amid shortage of U.S. dollars and the weakening of local currency, in addition to high unemployment and poverty rates.
Lebanon has been urged to implement serious reforms in order to unlock billions of dollars in aid from the international community to save its collapsing economy.–Agencies