EED partners safe in Beirut
Following yesterday evening's tragic explosion in Beirut, all EED partners have been reported safe.
Yesterday Tuesday 4th August, a massive explosion shook Beirut causing at least 100 deaths and wounding an estimated 4,000 people.
Commentators are blaming a stock of ammonium nitrate fertiliser for the blast – reportedly 2,750 metric tons that was stored in unsafe conditions in a Beirut port warehouse since it arrived in the country on a cargo ship and was impounded by the authorities in 2014.
The explosion sent shockwaves through the city and has caused widespread, including in the outskirts of Beirut. Residents report the explosion as feeling like an earthquake. It is reported that up to 300,00 people have lost their homes due to the explosion and the overall financial cost of the disaster may be up to $5 billion.
EED partners in Beirut are all safe.
Megaphone’s co-founder was on-site at the time of the first explosion covering the story. He fled the scene just before the bigger explosion abandoning his car, and thankfully was uninjured. Megaphone are a leading independent media outlet in Lebanon.
Another EED partner, Gherbal Initiative, whose work focuses on increased accountability in the country, has reported that its offices were destroyed as a result of the explosion. The office of EED partner, Joumana Haddad Freedoms Centre, a youth-centered human rights organisation was also destroyed.
Other EED partners, including Daraj and Beirut Today are publishing regular updates on the explosion. With the destruction of Beirut’s main grain warehouses during the blast, Beirut Today is reporting that the explosion could have a significant effect on food security in the country, which is already experiencing a severe economic crisis.