Beirut Explosion Appeal

Thanks to the generosity of the Australian community, our appeal raised $787,360

Donations to the Lebanese Explosion Appeal helped Lebanese Red Cross provide humanitarian support to those affected by the explosion.

To date, they have supported more than 250,000 people, including:

  • treatment and transportation to 3,741 people from the blast site
  • primary healthcare for 15,000 people
  • 10,838 blood units distributed to hospitals
  • food and essentials for 100,000+ people
  • 7,319 people provided psychosocial support
  • 10,866 families receiving ongoing emergency cash grants 

Funds raised from the Beirut Explosion Appeal have gone towards immediate and longer-term humanitarian support, including:

  • Critical emergency relief assistance such as food, water, sanitation, shelter and health initiatives including first aid, ambulance services and blood
  • Longer term assistance for Beirut’s recovery, with a focus on health, shelter, water and sanitation.
  • Support for our local partner, Lebanese Red Cross to rebuild its damaged buildings and equipment, and to safely operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

People are still dealing with the impacts from the explosion and alongside a crippling economic crisis and COVID-19, recovery for many has been slow. For our partners at Lebanese Red Cross the focus now is on supporting Beirut to get back on its feet. 

This support will include providing ongoing cash grants to families and small businesses, continuing vital healthcare and ambulance services, as well as ensuring people stay safe through COVID-19. 

While Australian Red Cross is no longer receiving donations for our Beirut Explosion Appeal, if you would like to continue to support Lebanese Red Cross life-saving work you can donate to them directly.

About the Lebanese Explosion Appeal

On August 4, an enormous explosion destroyed the port of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. At least 200 people have died more than 6,500 have been injured. The eastern part of Beirut was totally destroyed, hospitals were badly damaged, and quickly became overwhelmed with the number of people needing help. More than 300,000 people, were unable to return to their homes due to the widespread destruction.

The shockwave from the explosion reached Beirut’s outer limits, 24km from the blast site. It has been estimated that the explosion was equivalent to a 4.5 magnitude earthquake. The sound of the blast could be heard as far away as Cyprus, located 240km away. Four major hospitals were severely damaged by the blast, two of which were major national COVID-19 treatment centres.

The Lebanese Red Cross headquarters sustained major damage, losing three medical service stations as well as two blood stations. Vital ambulances, medical equipment and stocks were also destroyed.

This blast happened against a backdrop of a country struggling with a worsening economic crisis and COVID-19. For many living in Beirut, the Port blast was only one of several dire challenges to their livelihoods, physical and mental health and social stability.

Our colleagues at Lebanese Red Cross have been on the ground helping since the beginning. More than 125 ambulances and 375 emergency medical staff were mobilised from around the country to help treat and evacuate over 3,700 of those who were injured. Mobile health units were set up around the city to help alleviate the pressure on hospitals and Red Cross teams transported seriously injured patients to hospitals outside of Beirut.

Immediately following the blast, Lebanese Red Cross helped with search and rescue efforts, and treating and evacuating the injured. They provided emergency health care and blood services, psychosocial support to those experiencing trauma and helped families locate missing loved ones.

In the months following the blast and from now and into the future, the focus for Lebanese Red Cross is on helping Beirut get back on its feet. Providing cash grants to assist people in recovering, giving them the dignity of making their own choices about what’s best for them and their family. As well as continuing their vital healthcare and ambulance services.

So far, Lebanese Red Cross has helped more than 250,000 people. They have done this alongside their broader humanitarian work, including responding to COVID-19 and supporting over 1.5 million people from across the region who have sought refuge in Lebanon.

The global Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has mobilised financial support to Lebanese Red Cross for their Beirut Port Explosion operation as well as their ongoing work. This support helped them to respond rapidly to the explosion with vital life-saving services; and is helping them to provide long-term assistance.

Australian Red Cross’s Port Explosion Appeal was part of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s effort to back our local partner, Lebanese Red Cross.

We really appreciate the generosity but we’re unable to accept or distribute donated goods.

The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and other agencies such as the World Food Program provide practical and culturally appropriate food to people, based on what our local partner, Lebanese Red Cross and other organisations on the ground tell us is needed.

Sending goods, while well-meaning can do more harm than good. As with any country, all imports need to be verified and stored by custom officials. Donated goods can create delays for life-saving relief items aid agencies are sending in and cost thousands to store and dispose of.

Our colleagues at Lebanese Red Cross reported that a large influx of donated goods caused major challenges to response operations and hindered efforts to get essential relief items to people in need.

Our experience with emergencies shows that donations of money, where possible, help affected communities recover sooner. This is because people can make their own choices – including purchasing the goods they need for their own families.

If you have collected goods already, we’d gratefully accept donations of clothing at our retail stores, to on-sell and raise funds to support our work. Visit to find out more.

If you would like to donate directly to the ongoing work of Lebanese Red Cross you can do so directly.

Please note that donations will not be tax deductible.

Your donation goes to Lebanese Red Cross, which is a neutral, independent and impartial organisation. It’s focussed entirely on providing humanitarian relief – from medical care to shelter, essential supplies and helping people recover. Lebanese Red Cross reports regularly on how it is helping and directs a portion of its funds to ensure that financial management is both transparent and accountable.

When you donate directly to Lebanese Red Cross you are ensuring the life-saving work of their staff and volunteers on the ground can continue. 80% of donations will go towards direct aid to the most affected, mainly via direct financial support to up to 10,000 families. 20% of the donation will go towards supporting ongoing humanitarian services such as ambulance transport, blood transfusion, food parcels and healthcare.

The appeal has closed because Australian Red Cross has the funds to help thousands of families affected by the explosion, as part of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement’s response.

This was possible through the immense generosity of the Australian community. People from across the country donated to the appeal and held events in their communities to raise funds. The Lebanese Australian community was especially active and innovative in its fundraising efforts.

If you are interested in supporting our work in disasters and crises overseas you can donate to our International Disaster Fund. The fund ensures whenever and wherever a disaster strikes, a Red Cross or Red Crescent team is there to help.

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