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Beirut Explosion Situation Report No.5

Situation Report

When a large quantity of ammonium nitrate exploded on 4 August, Lebanon was already in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis. Now, more than 40 days after the explosion that killed nearly 200 people and injured more than 6,000, Lebanon’s humanitarian and financial needs are exacerbated. Within five kilometres of the explosion site, residential and commercial areas were destroyed or severely damaged, leaving 300,000 people homeless. It is expected that some households may be displaced for an indefinite period of time. For example, in the Quarantina neighborhood, assessments indicate a timeline of up to one year for people to return to their homes. Moreover, on Thursday 10 September, another massive fire broke out in a warehouse full of tires and oil, this time at the port’s free zone, the same area that was heavily damaged in the initial explosion. 

Additionally, it has become harder for people to protect themselves from COVID-19,  which continues to pose a threat to the population. On 16 September 2020, 634 new cases were reported, with the cumulative number reaching 26,083 - a daily increase of about 5 per cent since the blast. Six cases were reported among healthcare workers on that day, raising the total number of infected healthcare workers to 824.

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Innovative Solutions to Address Needs of People on the Move for Maternal Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Gender-based Violence Services in the Arab States Region

Publication

Mixed migration in the Arab States region is a complex multidimensional phenomenon as the region hosts a combined 34% of the world’s population of the forcibly displaced1 who need access to protection and basic social services including maternal health (MH), sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and gender-based violence (GBV) information and services. Since access to protection and other types of services can be challenging, not the least due to the often precarious legal status of the concerned population groups, the role that innovation can play across the humanitarian sector is noteworthy. Innovation is as a matter of fact, attracting considerable attention, with its potential to open up new ways to meet the various needs of “people on the move”.

In order to find out more information about the real-time needs of “people on the move” in the region, with specific attention to maternal health, sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence needs, the UNFPA Arab States Regional Office (ASRO) has commissioned this two-parts report which consists of:

(a) a mapping/needs assessment in the form of a desk review, to more precisely gauge what those needs might be at various points journey of “people on the move”; and

(b) a horizon scan for potential or existing innovative solutions that UNFPA or others might have in the pipeline, or already in place, to address identified target group needs. Part One of this report presents the results of the desk review that aims to identify sexual and reproductive health, maternal health and GBV needs among “people on the move” in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Sudan, with a focus on youth and women of reproductive age. Part Two identifies and highlights existing innovative practices that might promote the health of “people on the move”. Drawing on the horizon scan findings, the report concluded with recommendations to the international development community on the need to partner on already proven solutions that would address the MH, SRH and GBV needs of “people on the move” but also considers the design and implementation of new potential solutions.

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Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA): Your Role as a GBV Coordinator

Publication

Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) can support access to GBV and other sexual and reproductive health services, and contribute to the safety, dignity and resilience of women and girls in humanitarian contexts. It can offer discretion and flexibility compared to in-kind assistance, which can be particularly helpful for those who may be more at risk of GBV and loss of income due to their personal characteristics, such as older women, adolescent girls, persons with disabilities and LGBTIQ persons. CVA can also strengthen protection outcomes for women and girls: women at risk who can use CVA for housing or other basic needs are less likely to resort to transactional sex or harmful practices such as forced marriage, and may be less vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse.

CVA can cover the immediate, lifesaving needs of survivors such as emergency medical treatment and transport costs for clinical management of rape (CMR) services as part of a safe and confidential Case Management process to support healing and recovery.

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Beirut Explosion Situation Report No.4

Situation Report

A month has passed since large quantities of ammonium nitrate at a warehouse in the Beirut port exploded, causing massive humanitarian and financial losses. According to the Ministry of Public Health, the death toll has reached 190, with three people still missing, more than 6,000 injured, and more than 300,000 displaced. In addition, many people are showing symptoms of severe psychological distress.

The Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA), launched by the World Bank Group (WBG), in cooperation with the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU), determined that the blast caused between $3.8 and $4.6 billion in damages to infrastructure and physical stock. With a major focus on the worst affected areas within a five-kilometre radius of the explosion site, the RDNA covered 16 sectors, including health, housing, education, culture and social protection and jobs.

According to a UNFPA assessment of 55 Primary Health Care Centers (PHCC) within 5 kilometres of the blast, less than 50 per cent of the centres reported that they provide the full package of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, including maternal and newborn care, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).   While almost 71 per cent of health facilities are still functional, only 47 per cent of surveyed facilities can provide full routine health services.

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Empowering Girls and Women to Lead Change Annual Report 2019 17 1 0

Annual Report

UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation: Accelerating Change

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Beirut Explosion Situation Report No.3

Situation Report

Nearly two weeks after powerful blasts occurred on 4 August, at a warehouse at the Beirut Port containing large quantities of ammonium nitrate, widespread damage across several areas continues to cause human suffering and the extent of the crisis continues to become more clear.  As of 26 August, OCHA reports that the death toll reached 180, with over 7,000 injured and more than 300,000 people displaced, with many showing symptoms of severe psychological distress. These numbers are expected to rise as more bodies are recovered from the surrounding wreckage, while dozens of people are still reported missing. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that more than 80 primary health care centres have been severely damaged. According to the UNFPA assessment of 55 primary healthcare facilities within 5 kilometers of the blast,  less than 50 percent of the centers reported that they maintained the full package of sexual and reproductive health services, including maternal and newborn care, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  Almost 71 per cent of health facilities are still functional but only 47 per cent of surveyed facilities can provide full routine health services. Moreover, 120 schools, attended by 55,000 children, sustained various levels of damage. Humanitarian partners are conducting further damage assessments, in close coordination with relevant government authorities. 

Rising cases of COVID-19 are exacerbating the situation. On 25 August, 532 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Lebanon, adding to the cumulative 13,687 confirmed cases, with cases increasing daily by about 5 per cent since the blast. Describing the situation as “dangerous and sensitive,” the  Minister of Public Health imposed a national two-week lockdown, with relief and aid post-explosions permitted to continue, with a curfew from 6.00 PM to 6.00 AM, in an effort to curtail the surge in cases.

The Beirut Port, which usually processes up to 90 per cent of Lebanon’s imports, is only partially operational. Between 11 and 18 August, 21 freighters and six international ships docked in the port and provided essential items including food. This reduced the aggravation of food insecurity, which was growing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the prolonged socio-economic crisis.

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Regional Actors call all to address the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights

Declarations and Statement

Cairo - 26 August 2020 - UNFPA, IPPF AWR and the other members of the Arab World Advocacy Network (AWAN) for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights noted that integrating sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights into their Covid-19 response and recovery so far have fallen short and stress that it is now more important than ever before to realize women’s and girls’ choices and rights to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.

AWAN is the Arab World Advocacy Network for Sexual & Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights (SRH & RR) co-founded by UNFPA Arab States Regional Office and IPPF Arab World Region with the membership of several organizations that share the same objectives in terms of advocating for women, girls’ and young persons’ SRH needs and RR.

AWAN acknowledges the unprecedented challenge that Covid-19 poses and stand in solidarity with women and girls who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Women account for 70% of health workers, and they perform nearly five times as much unpaid care work as men, putting them at a greater risk for contracting the virus.

AWAN reiterates that it is critical that Arab governments ensure the continuity of essential sexual and reproductive health services, respecting the reproductive rights of women and girls and their right to bodily integrity and autonomy.

 

More in the attached document.

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Beirut Explosion Situation Report No.2

Situation Report

On 4 August 2020, at approximately 18:00, a warehouse at the Beirut Port containing large quantities of ammonium nitrate exploded. The initial explosion was followed by a much more substantial blast that caused widespread damage, reportedly reaching more than 20 kilometres from the port area. 

As of 18 August, reports indicate that the death toll has reached 220, with over 7,000 injured and more than 300,000 people left displaced, with many showing symptoms of severe psychological distress. These numbers  are expected to rise as more bodies are recovered from the surrounding wreckage and dozens of people are still reported missing. The situation is further exacerbated by rising confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that more than 80 primary health care centres have been severely damaged. Only 47 per cent of surveyed facilities can still provide full routine health services. Moreover, 120 schools, attended  by 55,000 children, sustained various levels of damage. Humanitarian partners are conducting further damage assessments, in close coordination with relevant government authorities. Rising cases of COVID-19 are exacerbating the situation.  On 19 August, 589 new confirmed cases were reported, adding to the cumulative 10,347 confirmed cases, averaging around 5 percent daily increase since the blast.  

The Beirut Port, which processes up to 90 per cent of Lebanon’s imports, is expected to remain inoperable for at least one month, pending repairs, debris removal, and safety clearances. This may exacerbate food insecurity, which was already growing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the prolonged socio-economic crisis. All trade activities have been redirected to the Tripoli Port, located about 85 kilometres north of Beirut. 

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Lebanon UN Flash Appeal

Publication

The Beirut Port explosions on 4 August created significant immediate humanitarian needs and severe long-term consequences. Building on existing humanitarian response efforts, a comprehensive, effective response to this emergency requires three phases of activity. Such a plan should quickly transition from immediate humanitarian relief into recovery, reconstruction and eventually longer-term economic recovery. This humanitarian Flash Appeal focuses on the first phase and the early parts of the second phases of the response, and the activities covered will save lives, protect the most vulnerable and set the stage for subsequent longer term reconstruction and economic recovery, which constitutes a third phase.
The first phase will prioritize life-saving responses and protection. These activities continue alongside the pre-existing humanitarian response for the Lebanese and non-Lebanese population, including Syrian and Palestine refugees and migrants.
The second phase will deliver recovery and reconstruction interventions to restore public infrastructure, rehabilitate private homes and stabilize the wider situation. Some recovery responses which must be implemented with no delays alongside life-saving
activities in order to prevent a rapid growth in humanitarian needs are included in the Flash Appeal.
Although third phase interventions are not included in this immediate humanitarian Flash Appeal, the international community must support these efforts. Economic recovery remains crucial and would constitute a final part of a comprehensive response.

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Beirut GBV Advocacy Brief

Publication

On 4 August, 2020, at approximately 18h00 (local time), a warehouse at the Beirut Port containing large quantities of ammonium nitrate exploded. The initial explosion was followed by a much more substantial  blast that caused widespread damage reportedly reaching more than 20 kilometres from the port area. The incident has created yet another large-scale crisis in a country that is in the midst of a serious economic crisis as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Gender-based violence (GBV) is among the greatest protection challenges within any humanitarian crisis, disproportionately affecting women and girls and impacting families and communities at large. In the aftermath of the Beirut explosion, the compounded situation will only stand to multiply those risks significantly, further impacting the lives and safety of women and girls at home and at various public spaces, diminishing means of protection, undermining the resilience of communities and society as a whole, and impeding recovery and rebuilding efforts. In this respect, the continuous support to ensure that GBV response services remain available and accessible to women and girls is of paramount importance, together with reducing GBV risks in all sectors throughout the response.

 

This document provides a number of recommendations to achieve this, which are intended for all stakeholders working towards meeting the immediate and long-term needs of impacted community segments.

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