BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Humanitarian NGO WeCare is aiming to raise $50,000 to provide relief for people affected by the Beirut Port explosion.

The blast — which occured when 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded at Beirut’s port on August 4 — killed 193 people, wounding about 6,500 others.

It also left around 300,000 people homeless.

WeCare public relations officer Nor Aliiyah Hj Mail said the Beirut emergency relief fund will help Lebanese victims of the blast, as well as Syrian and Palestinian refugees in the country.

The blast has exacerbated the already dire humanitarian crisis in Lebanon, which hosts an estimated 1.7 million Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

Nor Aliiyah said the donations will be used to distribute food packages and medical supplies to the blast victims, as well as hygiene kits to help stem the spread of COVID-19. 

Lebanon has reported over 43,000 coronavirus cases so far with 398 deaths. On October 2, a total of 111 towns and villages were ordered to go into lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.

So far, WeCare has raised approximately 11 percent of its target since the fundraiser began on September 14. The organisation will continue to accept donations until October 31. 

The relief fund is organised in collaboration with WeCare’s long-time partner, Malaysian NGO Global Peace Mission, who will travel to Lebanon to deliver the aid with the help of a Lebanese NGO.

WeCare said 15 percent of the funds raised will be spent on administrative fees to ensure proper execution of the project.

Last year, the NGO organised a humanitarian mission Turkey and Lebanon to provide 40,000 Syrian refugees with basic necessities for winter. It has also carried out missions to Indonesia, Bangladesh and Gaza.