Disaster in Beirut - Doctors of the World

Disaster in Beirut


This past Tuesday, the city of Beirut, Lebanon suffered from two shocking explosions which destroyed a large part of the city.  The current toll stands at 137 people dead, which is expected to rise in the coming days, with 5,000 injured and more than 300,000 rendered homeless.  The entire eastern part of the city is uninhabitalble.  The port, which is a critical lifeline for the city, has been destroyed, and hospitals which were already dealing with covid-19 cases, are overwhelmed.  The images of the explosions and the aftermath speak for themselves, but cannot tell the full story of the massive destruction of life, property, health, the economy, and the very difficult and long road to recovery that lies ahead.  Our hearts go out to all of Beirut and Lebanon in this very unimaginable moment. 

Doctors of the World/Medecins du Monde (MdM) has been operational in Lebanon since 1990, where we have a mission with 40 staff and numerous volunteers.  I am relieved to report that all are safe and accounted for as we, with our partners, now turn our attention to assess the needs and determine the best possible response.

Our hearts go out to all of Beirut and Lebanon in this very unimaginable moment. 

Of particular concern is the psychological impact of this tragedy.  We will adapt our ongoing mental health support activities: psychological support will be offered to those affected, people requiring more in-depth follow-up will be referred to mental health services, and awareness sessions to better detect trauma are planned in the coming weeks.

As a first step, we are sending 20,000 units of personal protective equipment to continue to limit the spread of Covid-19 as we remain on alert to ensure the continuity of vaccinations and care for chronic diseases at the midst of this chaos, with more to come.

On behalf of all of us at Doctors of the World and those we serve – in the US and in over 80 countries around the world – I send a warm thank you to all who support of our work.

Fraser Mooney

Executive Director