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UNESCO: Beirut blast damaged 160 schools; 85,000 students unable to attend classes

August 27, 2020 at 12:25 pm

A view of damaged buildings after a fire at a warehouse with explosives led to massive blasts on 4th August, in Beirut, Lebanon on August 17, 2020. [Enes Canlı – Anadolu Agency]

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has said that the Beirut port explosion damaged more than 160 schools and left more than 85,000 students unable to attend classes.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, UNESCO said: “The latest assessment shows that close to 160 public and private schools in Beirut and surrounding areas were damaged by the blast.”

UNESCO said that this “could deprive more than 85,000 Lebanese and non-Lebanese students of the right to education.”

It added: “As rehabilitating schools is a necessary condition for access to primary and secondary education, UNESCO was designated to lead efforts by partners and donors to rehabilitate schools, and to ensure that learning never stops.”

The UN organisation also said: “At least 8,000 buildings in Beirut were impacted by the blasts, especially in the central districts of Gemmayzeh and Mar Mikhael. Among them are some 640 historic buildings, approximately 60 of which are at risk of collapse.”

UNESCO reiterated that it “will lead the international mobilisation for the recovery and reconstruction of Beirut’s culture and heritage, based on Lebanon’s technical needs assessment, and develop the International Action Plan for Culture in Beirut with all its partners, in Lebanon and abroad.”

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