The UN said the money will enable the UN's humanitarian partners “to help people in need by targeting food security, health, shelter and protection, as well as water and sanitation hygiene support.”

A man looks at the remains of his home that was damaged by an explosion at the Beirut port, in the neighbourhood of Karantina, Beirut, Lebanon, Beirut, Lebanon, August 12, 2020
A man looks at the remains of his home that was damaged by an explosion at the Beirut port, in the neighbourhood of Karantina, Beirut, Lebanon, Beirut, Lebanon, August 12, 2020 (Reuters)

The United Nations has launched an appeal to raise $565 million to help Lebanon recover from this month's devastating port blast that killed 171 people.

The UN said in a statement on Friday that the funds would be used to support Lebanon as it moves from immediate life-saving humanitarian relief towards rebuilding its shattered economy.

"The task of rebuilding people's lives and recovering from the devastation is only just beginning," said Najat Rochdi, a UN humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon.

"I urge the international community to demonstrate their steadfast commitment to the people of Lebanon and repay in turn Lebanon's incredible generosity to Syrian and Palestine refugees with full financial support for this appeal," she added.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the money will enable the UN's humanitarian partners “to help people in need by targeting food security, health, shelter and protection, as well as water and sanitation hygiene support.”

UN humanitarian officials said some of the $300 million pledged at a donor conference on Sunday co-chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron and the United Nations may be committed to the $565 million appeal but the amount won’t be known for some time because the pledges include a mixture of humanitarian and reconstruction activities.

Mitigating loss

The humanitarian office said the appeal will target:

— Immediate delivery of hot meals, food rations and grain supplies.

— Rehabilitation of damaged health facilities and provision of trauma kits and essential medicines.

— Cash for shelter for families whose homes were damaged or destroyed and for repairs of common building areas and facilities affected by the blast.

— Repair of schools and provision of educational supplies and psychological support for children.

READ MORE: World Food Programme to send 50,000 tonnes of wheat flour to Beirut

Widespread damage

The August 4 explosion flattened surrounding neighbourhoods, leaving thousands homeless, damaged dozens of hospitals and clinics and destroyed more than 100 schools.

It also wounded at least 6,500 residents.

The explosion was caused by a huge stock of hazardous materials stored in a warehouse and was widely blamed on state corruption.

It came as Lebanon reels from an economic crisis, with runaway inflation and bank capital controls fuelling poverty, despair and angry street protests.

The cabinet resigned this week amid fury over the devastating blast.

Western powers have pressed Lebanon's leaders for deep changes and a government that reflects the will of the people, and also insisted reforms be implemented to unlock billions of dollars in international aid.

The UN said its appeal money would target improving food security, help the rebuilding of damaged hospitals and schools and provide cash for shelter for families whose homes were rendered uninhabitable.

READ MORE: Lebanon's assembly ratifies state of emergency as protests continue

Source: TRTWorld and agencies