The head of the Popular International Committee to Support Gaza has made an urgent appeal for humanitarian aid to help the people of Lebanon. Dr Essam Yousef made his appeal in the wake of the massive explosion in Beirut yesterday.
The veteran activist and aid worker expressed his condolences to all of the victims and their families, and urged governments and humanitarian institutions to be generous in their aid.
"This is a massive disaster affecting hundreds of thousands of people in a few seconds," explained Yousef. "It is essential for us all to work together to provide humanitarian support for the Lebanese people to overcome the effects and repercussions of the blast."
He stressed the role of humanitarian NGOs and charities in providing relief and support on the ground. "The victims, their families, the injured and their communities are all in urgent need of assistance as they try to rebuild their shattered lives."
A huge explosion rocked the port in Beirut yesterday, destroying and damaging buildings and infrastructure across a very wide area of the Lebanese capital. At least 100 people were killed in the blast, with thousands more injured. Hospitals which are already struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic have been swamped by the casualties.
Officials in Lebanon say that around 300,000 people are now homeless in Beirut as a result of the explosion. "It is," said one, "a disaster zone."