Here’s How You Can Support the People of Beirut

Tuesday's explosion in Beirut has displaced over 300,000 people. Already battling against the coronavirus pandemic, political unrest and an economic crisis, Lebanese organisations are raising funds to rebuild Beruit and support its community.

WORDS Iman El Kafrawi
IMAGE Courtesy of ‘For The Love of Beruit’ print sale, image by Omar Sfeir

On Tuesday 4 August, Beirut and its people fell tragically victim to a huge explosion in the capital city’s port. The country, already fighting a pandemic, political unrest and an economic crisis was devastated by this tragic event.

The explosion displaced around 300,000 people, with at least 200 fatalities and more than 6,000 others injured according to the latest reports. The explosion sent shockwaves across the city, destroying thousands of buildings including homes, hospitals and small businesses. Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, blamed the detonation on 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that he said has been stored unsafely at a warehouse in the port.

Lebanese people, enraged by the government’s negligence, have since taken to the streets calling for action from the government. Less than a week after the blast, the Prime Minister announced his government’s resignation. 

As Beirut rebuilds and heals, we urge our community to support Beirut in whatever way you can. We have compiled a list of NGOs, organisations and individuals who are raising funds and working on the ground to help rebuild Beirut and support those affected.

Donate to NGOs and independent organisations

If you want to donate dry goods, medicine, medical supplies or clothes to help the people of Lebanon, these are the international points of contact.

Lebanese Red Cross is providing emergency medical services, temporary shelter, food and basic needs for those affected.

Helem supports LGBTQ+ people in Lebanon and is a safe-space for the queer community. Their community centre is located less than half a mile from the epicentre of the explosion and suffered significant damage. They are currently fundraising to ensure they can to support Beirut’s queer community during this time. Donate here.

Baytna Baytak is relocating displaced individuals who have lost their homes to the explosion. Donate here.

Matbakh el Balad is a volunteer-run community kitchen that provides free meals to families in Lebanon. Donate here.

This Is Lebanon is a Beirut-based NGO run by a group of former migrant workers and activists. They do essential work in protecting migrant domestic workers and they are actively campaigning to end government-sanctioned, modern-day slavery in Lebanon. Due to COVID-19, the economic crisis and the Beirut explosion,This is Lebanon is in high demand. To support migrant workers who are in vulnerable situations, they have launched a new campaign #SendUsHome, to raise money to help migrant workers return home safely. Donate here.

Marsa is an LGBTQ+ inclusive sexual health clinic that provides affordable sexual healthcare and support. They are currently raising money to help provide free psychological support and food aid to those affected. Donate here.

Embrace Lebanon is an NGO which works to raise awareness around mental health issues and provide support for those affected in Lebanon. They are launching a free mental health clinic to support those experiencing PTSD and grief and expanding their 24/7 hot-line service. Donate here.

Lebanon Food Bank is working on the ground to provide food for those affected in Beirut. 

Egna Legna is a non-profit organisation run by former Ethiopian domestic workers. They are currently fundraising to help domestic workers who are experiencing insecurity by the current situation. Donate here.

Anera is a non-profit organisation supporting refugees and vulnerable people in Lebanon and beyond. They have over 60 staff currently helping rebuild Beirut. Their medical donations team is currently coordinating shipments of medical supplies from the US and UK to Beirut. Volunteers working on the ground are organising cleanups, distributing water, food and cleaning supplies. Donate here.

The Arab Image Foundation is home to over 600,000 photographic objects and documents from the Middle East North Africa and the Arab Diaspora. Due to the impact of the explosion, their library, which holds over 2,300 valuable books is significantly damaged. To help them preserve their collection, donate here. 

View this post on Instagram

UPDATE FROM THE AIF: 4 AUGUST EXPLOSIONS IN BEIRUT We offer our thoughts and strength to the families and friends of the missing, wounded and those who passed following the devastating explosions at the Beirut port on August 4th, 2020. We have received many messages and inquiries about the Arab Image Foundation (AIF) and we thank all friends for their words of care and support and those helping on the ground. It gives us strength to know that the larger community is thinking of the foundation and everyone in Lebanon at this time. The AIF office in Beirut is in close proximity to the port and has sustained substantial damage. Three team and board members had physical injuries and are recovering. We are currently assessing the damage and are hopeful that the collections are not substantially affected, thanks to the Cold Storage Room where collections are stored and protected. The entire team and larger network are committed to rebuilding and continuing the work of the foundation and we will need your support to do so – also, in solidarity with all the other cultural institutions in Beirut who suffered damage from the explosion. We believe it is only together that we will be able to recover from this blast that came in addition to already several crises. For immediate support, you can donate on our platform. Link in bio. We also accept in-kind donations, in the form of computers, hard discs, archival material and more. Please be in touch at donate@arabimagefoundation.org

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The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture has joined forces with Culture Resources to raise funds for the arts community in Beirut. The funds will be distributed to affected arts organisations and those within Beirut’s creative community. Donate here: https://www.givingloop.org/afac

Berlin-based feminist radio, Hamman Radio are currently raising money to support The Anti Racism Movement and Haven for Artists. Both organisations are providing food, shelter and financial assistance to those who are vulnerable.

A group of Lebanese LGBTQ+ activists are raising funds to support Beirut’s queer community who are affected by the explosion. Volunteers are working on the ground to distribute medical supplies, clothes, food, sanitary products, therapy sessions, and temporary housing. Donate here. 

A group of Lebanese LGBTQ+ people based between Beirut and Berlin are raising funds to support unemployed trans and non-binary folks in Beirut.

Artist-led Initiatives 

On Saturday 22 August, the Bell Pub in Whitechapel will host Rebuilding Beirut with Pride, a socially distanced evening of art, live performances and drag to raise funds for Lebanese NGOs and the Lebanese LGBTQ+ community. There is a limited amount of tickets available due to COVID-19 measures, however, the event will also be available to watch online. Find out more here.

Led by Lebanese-born artist Walid Raad, the Brussels-based non-profit Mophradat has launched a fundraising initiative to aid artists and art organisations in Beirut.

For the Love of Beirut is a fundraiser led by Dubai-based Ruwa and Gulf Photo Plus which aims to celebrate love and appreciation for Beirut and supports the communities affected by the explosion. The print sale features over 60 International visual artists selling photographic work. 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Lebanese Red Cross. 

The Berlin-based record label, Habibi Funk has collaborated with Lebanese musicians to create a digital album – Solidarity with Beirut which is currently being sold to raise money for Lebanese Red Cross.

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10.000 EURO IN 24 HOURS RAISED. Thank you to everyone who bought the "Solidarity With Beirut" project. You / we managed to raise 10.000 Euro in the first 24 hours which will be 100% donated (الترجمة العربية في الكومينتس بسبب طول النص). If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet you can still find it via the link in the bio. We will make a first donation early next week. Our thoughts are with everyone joining the protest on the streets of Beirut today. More info: SOLIDARITY WITH BEIRUT, 100% of the profits will go to to Lebanese Red Cross, link in bio: We at Habibi Funk have been shocked and saddened by the explosion in Beirut 3 days ago. It was important for us to express our solidarity with a city that means so much to us, so we spent yesterday with calls and messages to some of our favorite musicians from Beirut. 100% of the profits will go the the Lebanese Red Cross. Although this compilation was put together in order to raise funds as quickly as possible, we truly love how it turned out to be musically too. It will drop as a digital only @bandcamp exclusive tomorrow, coinciding with Bandcamp Friday, the day the platform waives their seller fees so we can maximize the donation. Shout out to Issam Hajali, Toufic Farroukh, Rogér Fakhr, Munir Khauli and Abboud Saadi for their contributions. Cover photo by @myriamboulos, artwork by @raphaellemacaron @simone_cihlar and @malakmakar. Big up to @radioalhara @beirutgroovecollective @soledxb @rootradiolive and @chicorecords for helping us spread the word and supporting.

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Photographer Ayla Hibri has designed a t-shirt to raise funds for Beirut cultural organisations – Studio Safar, Papercup and Jana Salah – whose studios have been damaged due to the explosion.

Lebanese designer Chantal Jahchan has designed a limited edition graphic t-shirt to raise money for Impact Lebanon’s Disaster Relief Fund and Lebanese Red Cross.

All proceeds from The Mosaic Room’s online bookshop this month will be donated directly to Lebanese Red Cross.

New York-based jeweller Shami is selling limited edition t-shirts, totes and caps to raise money for the Lebanese Red Cross.

Queer Art Habibi is donating 100% of sales from their postcards and prints to Impact Lebanon and directly to the Lebanese queer community.

New York-based creative studio, We Are Sunday Afternoon is selling a series of limited edition photographic prints for $100 each. All proceeds will go to Impact Lebanon. 

Art Relief for Beirut is selling artwork by international artists via Instagram to raise much-needed funds for Impact Lebanon and the Lebanese Red Cross, two organisations working on the frontline. If you’re an artist who would like to donate work, contact Art Relief for Beirut via DM or email. 

Lebanese artist, Raphaelle Macaron is collaborating with Paris-based printing studio, Studio Fidèle. They are selling Lebanese-inspired prints to raise money for NGOs working on the ground. 

Lebanese Illustrator, Nour Flayhan is selling special print dedicated to Lebanon to raise funds for local NGOs and Lebanese Red Cross.

Cold Cuts Journal is raising funds for the Children Cancer Center Lebanon.  All proceeds from the sales of the t-shirts will be donated to help the children who have been relocated from nearby hospitals that have been damaged by the explosion. 

Moroccan musician, Abir is selling a limited edition t-shirt, designed by Lebanese Artist Ali Cha’Aban. All proceeds will be donated to the Disaster Relief Fund in Lebanon.

If you are unable to donate, we encourage you to share resources and raise awareness of the current situation in Lebanon.

To keep updated on news in Lebanon, follow independent platforms such as:

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