Two years ago, on the 4 August 2020, a large blast hit the city of Beirut. The explosion affected everyone in Lebanon. The country is small, with a population of just over 6.5 million people – one million of these being vulnerable Syrian refugees. Everyone knew someone affected and has their own story from that evening of fearing the worst for their loved ones. The country was traumatised.
More than 200 people were killed, and close to 3,000 injured. The blast damaged many buildings – including those that were 12 miles away – and 300,000 people’s homes were damaged or destroyed. It also put lots of businesses out of service, many have been unable to recover.
Despite this, communities came together to clear up the streets and support their neighbours.
Even before the blast the situation in Lebanon was getting bad, but since then it has become much worse. The economic crisis has affected everyone. People’s lifetime savings in the banks have been wiped out.
In 2019, the exchange rate was 1,500 Lebanese pounds to 1 US dollar. Now, it is more than 30,000 Lebanese pounds to 1 US dollar. For many, the cost of living is unbearable.
Through years of conflict, the resilience of Lebanese people has shone through. It is a trait that this nation is known for. But today, the Lebanese nation is heartbroken; the country is devastated by these compounding crises and the lack of accountability from the politicians.