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Canada’s response to the crisis in Lebanon

On August 4, 2020, 2 strong explosions originating from the Port of Beirut devastated many parts of the city. The blast resulted in more than 200 fatalities and 6,000 injuries. Sadly, 2 Canadian citizens were among those who lost their lives in this tragedy. Extensive infrastructural damage has left more than 300,000 people homeless and many health facilities, including hospitals, inoperable. Humanitarian organizations mobilized quickly to respond to the needs of those most affected.

How Canada helped Lebanon

In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, Canada provided up to $5 million in humanitarian assistance. Canada later announced an additional $25 million, for a total of $30 million. This funding helps trusted partners address both immediate humanitarian needs and support efforts for early recovery. Provision of humanitarian assistance, including food, water and sanitation, shelter and medical assistance, is essential to address the immediate needs of the affected people.

Canada’s humanitarian funding included $12 million to trusted humanitarian partners on the ground, including UN humanitarian agencies and the Lebanese Red Cross though the Canadian Red Cross Society, to help meet the needs of people affected by this crisis. It also included $8 million to the Humanitarian Coalition, matching the amount donated by Canadians through the Lebanon Matching Fund.

Additionally, Canada’s programming and engagement in Lebanon are key components of our whole-of-government Middle East strategy. This strategy invests up to $3.5 billion over 5 years (2016 to 2021) to respond to the ongoing crises in Iraq and Syria, and their impact in the region, in particular on Jordan and Lebanon. Specifically, Canada's humanitarian assistance helps supply basic needs and services, such as health care and access to education, water, food and shelter for vulnerable and at-risk populations.

Lebanon Matching Fund

Recognizing the generosity of Canadians and their desire to assist those affected by the explosion, the Government of Canada launched the Lebanon Matching Fund on August 8, 2020. The Government of Canada matched, dollar for dollar, $8 million in donations made to the Humanitarian Coalition for Lebanon crisis relief. These funds help meet essential food, water, health and other critical humanitarian needs. Global Affairs Canada transferred the funds to the Humanitarian Coalition, which allocated the funds among its members based on criteria such as their capacity and presence on the ground.

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