Media Alert: World Food Program USA Raising Critical Funds for Beirut Recovery

Location:Lebanon
Special Interests:Emergency Response
August 11, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC (August 11, 2020) —Following the devastating explosion and damage at the Port of Beirut, World Food Program USA launched a fundraising campaign to support the emergency response in Lebanon. The blast is exacerbating an already grim economic and food security situation that has worsened due to the country’s financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. World Food Program USA stands by the Lebanese people during this challenging time and is committed to supporting their immediate needs and long-term recovery.

“We are extremely saddened by the devastation and loss caused by the explosion in Beirut. Thousands of people became homeless overnight, were injured or lost loved ones in the blasts. This devastating event comes as Lebanon faces its worst financial crisis, with families struggling to buy food and make ends meet,” said Barron Segar, president and CEO, World Food Program USA. “Many Lebanese families will be pushed into dire circumstances if we don’t help immediately.  We will provide as much support as we can for residents who have been directly affected by the blasts and urgently need assistance during these difficult times.”

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is on the ground in Lebanon mobilizing recovery operations and working to operationalize areas of the damaged port. Speaking from Beirut this week, David Beasley, U.N. World Food Programme executive director, said that with grain stocks depleted, he is “very, very concerned” about food insecurity because 85 percent of the country’s grain comes through Beirut’s destroyed port. According to Beasley, the U.N. World Food Programme is shipping 17,500 metric tons of wheat flour to Beirut that will arrive “within two weeks, and that’s to put bread on the table of all the people of Lebanon and that will give us a bread supply for 20 days.”

The U.N. World Food Programme will deliver an additional 30-day supply of about 30,000 metric tons of wheat, and then another 100,000 metric tons within 60 days. We will also allocate 5,000 food parcels to impacted families. Each food package—containing basic staples such as rice, pasta, bulgur, lentils, beans, chickpeas, tuna, vegetable oil, sugar, salt and tomato paste—is enough to feed a family of five for one month.

According to the United Nations, Lebanon’s recovery and reconstruction will be a multi-phase operation expected to cost billions of dollars. Financing the recovery will require both public and private sector support. The World Food Program USA is committed to doing all it can to support Lebanon’s long road to recovery.

To support our emergency response in Lebanon, donate here.

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About World Food Program USA
World Food Program USA (WFP USA) is the recognized leader in America’s pursuit to end global hunger, inspiring citizens to do everything in their power to create a zero-hunger world. We work with U.S. policymakers, corporations, foundations and individuals to generate financial and in-kind resources for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to feed families in need around the world and to develop policies necessary to alleviate global hunger. To learn more about our mission, please visit us at www.wfpusa.org.

Media Contact: 
Toula Athas
Senior Manager, Communications and Public Relations
World Food Program USA
tathas@wfpusa.org
202-627-3940