The Beijing-based Peaceland Foundation has offered its help to the Lebanese capital Beirut to cope with the aftermath of the massive explosion the city experienced at its port on the 4th of August, which caused over 135 casualties and 5000 wounded. Prime Minister Hassan Diab, whose wife and daughter were also injured, announced a National Day of Mourning on the 5th, and the government has promised aid worth 100 billion Lebanese pounds for post-disaster relief work. Warehouses, restaurants, homes and shops have been battered into pieces, and the city’s hospitals are jammed with the wounded. “I have never seen such a massive explosion”, cried out Marwan Abboud, the Mayor of Beirut, speaking to reporters a few hours after the blast. “It is a national disaster, a catastrophe for Lebanon.” The mayor even compared the explosion to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Peaceland Charity Foundation (平澜公益基金会) was created in 2018 and focuses on international aid and disaster relief. In 2019 it opened a branch office in Lebanon, where it runs programs to help the many Syrian refugees in the country. The office is located in Beirut, only three kilometres away from the port where the blast took place. Its coordinator reported that the office was terribly shaken after the explosion, and all the windows of the office and the nearby neighbourhoods were blown out. Ambulances were shuttling between buildings and hospitals.
At 7am on the 5th, the day after the explosion, the foundation’s working team arrived at the point of the explosion and began to conduct a rapid assessment. In the meanwhile, the team purchased 600 emergency food boxes in the Bekaa Valley, in Eastern Lebanon, and transported them to Beirut the day after. Ma Yuming, a volunteer with the Peaceland Foundation, described some of the scenes in the city after the blast. The shockwaves of the explosion rippled through half of Beirut, and all homes within three kilometres of the explosion were badly damaged, leaving parts of the already tried city in devastation and ruin.
The Peaceland Foundation has now started a fundraising campaign for the victims of the Beirut explosion. The target is 2.2 million RMB, including 700,000 to be used for medical supplies, 600,000 to be used for emergency supplies of tents, food, other necessities and transportation costs, and 480,000 to be used to support children in Lebanon.