Lebanon: Rapid support after the explosion in Beirut

In the wake of the huge explosion that hit Beirut in August, emergency assistance was crucial. The German Federal Government is relying on GIZ, among others, to implement it rapidly.

Specific situations require special measures and, above all, rapid support. After the devastating explosion and massive destruction in the Lebanese capital Beirut on 4 August 2020, the German Government immediately offered its support. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH quickly responded with appropriate support measures in the city. These concern a community kitchen and a farmers’ market in the hard-hit district of Mar Mikhael, and aim to promote food security and offer short-term employment opportunities. 

Immediate support: hot meals and new jobs

Initially, for the duration of one year, workers trained by the project will cook meals in a community kitchen; up to 1,000 meals will be distributed daily to residents in need in the district via local organisations. Through this initiative, the workers develop their skills and earn urgently needed income. In addition, further workers are assisting in rebuilding a local farmers' market. This provides stalls for around 100 small farmers from the region to sell their products in Beirut. The existence of the smallholdings is threatened due to the ongoing crisis. Measures such as the community kitchen and reconstruction of the market are supporting Beirut’s people in mitigating the impacts of the disaster and recovering financially. 

40 years on site: for stability, existence and growth 

This recovery is important. The country has repeatedly faced economic challenges in recent years. Since last year, it has been facing its worst economic crisis. A third of the population is unemployed. Hosting around 1.5 million Syrian refugees is also a burden on the economy of the country with six million inhabitants. GIZ has been supporting the economic and social development of Lebanon for over 40 years, mainly on behalf of BMZ and with co-financing from the European Union. GIZ is active in the areas of economic development and employment, as well as education, reconstruction, peacebuilding and conflict transformation.

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