MAG is proud to announce that 20 of its emergency medical staff have been volunteering with the Lebanese Red Cross to help survivors of this week’s huge explosion in Beirut.
At least 130 people were killed, with dozens more unaccounted for, and more than 5,000 injured by the August 4 blast that destroyed a huge part of the capital’s port area. The blast – said to have been caused by large quantities of unsafely-stored, ammonium nitrate – destroyed windows and walls up to five kilometres away and could be heard 200 kilometres away.
The MAG medics involved have been helping the Lebanese Red Cross to care for survivors in the direct aftermath to ensure more lives were not lost. They have also been helping to provide psychological support for those traumatised by the disaster. These medics are funded thanks to the support of our generous UK, US, Norwegian and the Dutch government donors.
One of the big needs is for blood, our blood banks are desperately low.
MAG medic Hussein Akanen
MAG medic Hussein Akanen volunteered with the Lebanese Red Cross’s Disaster Management Unit:
“I was in the scene attending to the wounded, cleaning their wounds. I saw so many injuries, to people’s heads, faces, legs and many of the injuries were from broken glass from the shattered windows of the buildings.
"The Red Cross set up tents in the yard of a damaged school, all around the school the buildings were destroyed. One tent was for medical needs, one was for psychological needs and the other was for other needs such as food, water and housing.
"As well as being injured, some people have lost everything, their home, their car, their workshop, some have nowhere to stay. I gave psychosocial support to many people, talking things through with them.
"One of the big needs is for blood, our blood banks are desperately low.”
MAG has been working in Lebanon since 2001, removing landmines and unexploded bombs from parts of the country affected by conflict. MAG’s medics are always on hand during landmine clearance operations to provide emergency medical support in the unlikely event that an accident should occur.
In 2019 alone, MAG's work positively impacted the lives of more than 50,000 people in Lebanon. No MAG staff were injured in this week’s blast.
A key part of MAG’s work in many countries involves improving the quality of storage facilities and destroying obsolete weapons and ammunition to reduce the chance of unplanned explosions such as the one that devastated Lebanon this week.
MAG is asking its public supporters to consider donating directly to the Red Cross in Lebanon during this crisis.
MAG stands with the people of Beirut and the people of Lebanon at this time.
If you can, please consider donating to the Lebanese Red Cross below.