The extent of the devastation wreaked by the explosion last week in Beirut cannot be understated. It comes at a time when Lebanon is already reported to be facing a severe financial crisis and the health community is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and a recent increase in hospitalisations due to COVID-19. The destruction of the city’s port further threatens to disrupt the delivery of medical supplies as well as food and other essential goods.
The Children’s Cancer Center Lebanon (CCCL), a UICC member, has joined with Global Citizen, Red Cross Lebanon, the United Nations World Food Programme and the CEO of XO Wassim "Sal" Slaiby, a Lebanese-Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist, to launch a 'Global Aid for Lebanon' Campaign to raise funds for victims of the Beirut explosion.
"I am at a loss for words to express how profoundly this tragedy will affect Lebanon and its people, who have already suffered so much. In the Middle East and around the world, we are in mourning. All my thoughts go out to the many thousands of victims and their families, as well as the emergency workers and all those who are responding selflessly to this emergency. To thoughts and words, however, we must also add action, and I implore everyone to donate funds, medicines, blood, food – whatever resources that could help reduce Lebanon’s suffering."
- HRH Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, President, UICC
CCCL has reported that a colleague was severely injured but is recovering well, some minor injuries to patients that their medical staff was able to attend to immediately and limited damage to the facilities.
UICC has also reached out to its four other members in Lebanon who have been devasted by this unparalleled tragedy: The Naef K. Basile Cancer Institute at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, the Lebanese Cancer Society, the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation and SANAD The Home Hospice Organization of Lebanon. They have all reported that they are safe, though experiencing catastrophic disruptions with offices out of service. They remain committed to assisting cancer patients in need and have all expressed hope for better days ahead.
“This is beyond what we can process and very hard to survive. The lives lost, the wounds and destruction, the sadness and misery have left us speechless and broken. I hope we will have the strength to rise again, stronger and hopeful of a better tomorrow!”
- Dr Rihab Nasr, Director of Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Naef K. Basile Cancer Institute
UICC joins millions around the world in expressing its deepest sympathy and encourages individuals and organisations in the public health sector to donate to the Global Aid campaign to the extent they are able to do so, in order to bring some measure of relief to the many thousands.
The campaign is directing funds to the Children’s Cancer Center Lebanon, Red Cross Lebanon and the United Nations World Food Programme.