UN, partners cover 72 pct of known needs for Beirut blasts victims

The aid effort of the United Nations and humanitarian partners following the Beirut Port blasts continues with nearly 83,000 people receiving in-kind food parcels, covering 72 percent of their known needs, a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.

“Since the beginning of the response, more than 36,000 people have benefitted from protection services,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “Rehabilitation of shelters remains one of the main areas of ongoing work for us and our partners.”

Nearly 4,000 households were re-connected to their water supplies, covering two-thirds of the estimated known needs, and more than 3,300 water tanks and 235 pumps were installed since the beginning of the response after the Aug. 4 explosions.

More than 27,000 people have received cash assistance, Dujarric said.

“In-kind” food baskets are usually in the form of electronic vouchers, enabling victims to choose their own types of food when it is locally available rather than aid agencies bringing food in for the needy.

The UN-coordinated response plan following the Beirut Port explosions seeks 355 million U.S. dollars for 300,000 people in need, but it remains less than 29 percent funded, the spokesman said.

Lebanon will continue to require substantial and long-term assistance to support recovery, reconstruction and economic reform, in addition to humanitarian assistance, he said.