ATLANTA (August 5, 2020) — Habitat for Humanity extends its deepest sympathies and prayers to the people of Lebanon in the wake of an explosion that has claimed more than 100 lives and devastated housing infrastructure in parts of Beirut.
“Our hearts break for those who have lost family members and friends,” said Patrick Canagasingham, COO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We stand in solidarity with them, the injured still fighting for their lives and all those families left homeless by this terrible tragedy.”
Officials in the capital estimate that roughly 300,000 people have been displaced by the explosion, which flattened entire sections of the city near the port of Beirut.
“No country should have to endure a blow like this,” Canagasingham said. “But this disaster is particularly devastating considering Lebanon was already facing substantial economic and housing challenges made worse by the pandemic.”
Habitat has worked in Lebanon for nearly two decades and, fortunately, our office in Beirut sustained only minimal damage and no staff were injured.
Since 2001, Habitat’s work in Lebanon has supported housing microfinance and shelter for orphans and other vulnerable groups. In response to the Syrian refugee crisis, Habitat also has completed home repairs and renovated unfinished buildings for both refugee families and host communities in Lebanon.
About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S., and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.