The explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, which left at least 135 dead and thousands wounded, damaged several grain silos that hold 120 million kilograms of grain located near a port. The destruction places pressure on a country already enduring high levels of food insecurity.
The explosion comes during one of the worst financial crises in Lebanon’s recent history. Inflation rates stood at 90 percent in June and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts a 12 percent decline in Lebanon’s gross domestic product this year, while the price of imported food has more than doubled since the start of the year. The country imports roughly 80 percent of Lebanon’s food supply, according to the World Food Programme.
And the cost of agricultural production is increasing now that Lebanese farmers can no longer rely on subsidized inputs from Syria, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Forty-nine percent of people in Lebanon are worried about their ability to access enough food and 31 percent say they are unable to eat nutritious food throughout the year, according to a survey from the U.N. Economic and Social Commission of Western Asia reported.
But organizations around the country are working to face this crisis head on and serve those in need. Food Tank is highlighting 13 organizations and groups—that you can donate to—working to feed and support the people in Beirut affected by an economic crisis, a pandemic, and an explosion.
1. Ahla Fawda
Ahla Fawda is a nongovernmental (NGO) organization that aims to use joy to create an eco-friendly environment within Beirut. During the pandemic, the organization partnered with the Lebanon COVID-19 task force to raise money and distribute 850 boxes of food to those in need. To assist residents of Beirut, Ahla Fawda also launched a fundraiser to raise money for food, clothes, and home items that will be distributed to individuals in need. Donate here.
The Atfalouna Campaign distributes infant formula and diapers to babies in need throughout Lebanon. With the assistance of the Lebanese Food Bank, the campaign is raising funds to collect and distribute necessities for families affected by the explosion. Donate here.
Bassma is a nonprofit organization working to challenge poverty by helping impoverished people live in dignity. The organization provides food, water, and other humanitarian services and offers training workshops to reduce unemployment. In 2018, the organization served 18,000 hot meals and 20,000 fresh fruits to those in need. The organization is currently raising funds to help rebuild homes. Donate here.
Beit El Baraka, a nonprofit organization based in Beirut, is working to assist elderly individuals. The nonprofit provides medical support and constructed a free supermarket to help elderly citizens access food and health care. In wake of the explosion, Beit El Baraka is raising money to provide food and rebuild homes to individuals in need. Donate here.
Basmeh & Zeitooneh is a Lebanese NGO established in 2012, which uses sports, vocational training, and food relief efforts to assist marginalized communities in Lebanon and Turkey. As of 2018, Basmeh & Zeitooneh served 1,370 children in their education program and trained 198 women in their business program. The NGO is providing food, water, and assisting with the clean-up in the city. Donate here
Basmat Farah Association is an NGO based in Lebanon that delivers food to people in need in Lebanon and other countries, such as Kuwait. Recently, Basmat Farah Association launched Eid Abid, a campaign relying on donations of food to feed people affected by the explosion. Donate by calling this number: (+961) 71-854-373.
Caritas Lebanon is a part of Caritas, a humanitarian organization from the Catholic Church which provides healthcare, assistance to refugees, and other humanitarian services to individuals throughout the world. To help those impacted by the explosion, Caritas Lebanon is mobilizing its sectors to distribute food, clothing, and medicine. As of August 5, the organization served over 2,300 meals. Donate here.
FoodBlessed is a community driven nonprofit organization working with volunteers and businesses to help reduce food waste and hunger within Lebanon. FoodBlessed also organizes projects, such as the Community Fridge, and offers solutions to help community members reduce food waste. To date, the organization has fed over 250,000 people. FoodBlessed is collecting funds to feed people affected by the explosion and economic crisis in Lebanon. Donate here.
Impact Lebanon is a nonprofit organization aiming to support entrepreneurs and create a more prosperous country. The organization has 15 live initiatives ranging from food waste research to a mentorship program. To assist those affected by the explosion, Impact Lebanon created a crowdfunding campaign to share information on missing people and help other humanitarian organizations in Lebanon. Donate here.
After the Lebanese government raised the price of bread, a group of women gathered together to create Kheir, a social service using bread to feed people in need. Within the past two months, the group has already fed 250 families. The group is providing food and water to individuals working to clean and restore the city explosion. Donate by Direct Messaging them on Instagram.
Lebanon Red Cross is the primary provider of ambulances in Lebanon, supplying the country with over 3,000 medical technicians and 300 ambulances. The organization is using every ambulance in Lebanon to assist with the aftermath of the explosion. Donate here.
The Lebanese Food Bank is a nonprofit organization working to eliminate hunger in Lebanon. The organization also hosts webinars to inform others about the issue of hunger and food security within the country. The food bank is partnering with other organizations and groups, such as the Atfalouna Campaign, to assist people impacted by the explosion. Donate here.
The Union of Relief and Development Associations (URDA) is a nonprofit organization that supports vulnerable groups in Lebanon. URDA uses education as an empowerment tool and provides treatment to support individuals’ mental and physical health. URDA recently developed a fundraising initiative to provide medical supplies and deliver food to clinics and hospitals. Donate here.
Photo Courtesy of Unsplash, Marten Bjork