It's been one year since this explosion in the port of Beirut set off a chain of calamities that continue to cripple Lebanon.
President of Caritas MONA
“The situation in Lebanon is becoming more and more complicated, as it is difficult to provide for one's basic needs. A multi-faced crisis without end has taken hold.”
Pope Francis has often spoken about the country's difficult situation, calling on those in power to stop pursuing selfish interests at the expense of others.
July 1, 2021
“Stop using Lebanon and the Middle East for outside interests and profits! The Lebanese people must be given the opportunity to be the architects of a better future in their land, without undue interference.”
In an online conference, representatives of Caritas Lebanon explained how the crisis is especially affecting the health sector. Power outages and severe shortages of medical equipment and medication continue to put a strain on hospitals. And many health workers have resigned or left the country in search of better opportunities.
But Caritas Lebanon has been there every step of the way, helping survivors rebuild their homes and their lives.
FR. MICHEL ABBOUD
President of Caritas Lebanon
“What was remarkable was the participation of all of the employees and volunteers in Caritas, from all over the areas of Lebanon, who left their villages and homes and their workplaces to come to Beirut and assist in the work.”
And the youth have been a central part of this mission. About 1,200 young people form the emergency response unit, which was established by Caritas Lebanon in 2015.
Caritas Lebanon Youth Leader
“No, they were not professional emergency personnel. They were youth. Youth filled with enthusiasm and hope; youth that would do anything to help others who are in need. One year has passed, and still today, the youth are renovating houses affected by the blast. Youth are not the future only; they are also the present.”
The youth volunteers cleaned up over 600 houses and all the roads damaged by the blast. Caritas has distributed over 16,000 food kits and over 240,000 hot meals. And its health workers continue to offer psychological support to those who continue to suffer from the trauma of losing everything.