Rebuilding after Devastation

Lebanon Emergency Explosion
An IOCC engineer reviews the conditions of the play area at a Beirut school badly damaged in the explosion, before and after it was rehabbed through an IOCC program.
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Beirut: One Year Later
Just over a year ago, Beirut, Lebanon, was devastated by a tragic explosion, deepening a crisis for a country already facing many challenges. Lives and livelihoods were lost, homes and businesses were destroyed—incomprehensible destruction instantly changed life for so many. 
Through the years, IOCC has been active in Lebanon, which meant that relief efforts could begin almost immediately—and with your support IOCC has been working with the people of Lebanon to rebuild ever since.
For example, Elie, age 22, owns a small grocery store near the port, in a neighborhood hit hard by the blast. The family business, founded by Elie’s grandfather, has served the area for more than 70 years, selling fruits, vegetables, and other groceries.
The explosion shattered the store’s display windows and damaged its steel shutters—forcing it to close. “Many other organizations visited and assessed the damage,” Elie said, “but none called me afterward. IOCC was the only credible association that helped me repair the damage … everything was perfectly done.” Once work was complete, Elie was able to resume business and restore his only source of income.
Elie’s store is just one example. From August of 2020 through August of 2021, IOCC has repaired more than 545 homes and apartments, more than 125 small businesses, two hospitals, seven primary health centers, five schools, one Sunday School, and its educational facilities.
Within hours after the blast, IOCC was also distributing much-needed food aid. Amal, for example, is 70 years old and lives alone. When the explosion destroyed the doors and windows of her apartment, she had no family to support her. IOCC’s community kitchen supplied her with three hot meals a week. “You are the only organization that helped me and asked about me, and I can’t thank you enough,” she said. In the one-year period following the explosion, IOCC provided weekly hot meals for more than 1,300 families in need. 
Mother of three Nada, 36, also received food rations. In this case, IOCC’s school snacks program supplied food to children at home when schools remained closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We cannot buy vegetables, bread, meat, or chicken,” Nada said. “The rations are helping a lot; they give me more choices to have a variety of meals for the children.”
These programs have reached more than 153,000 people—thanks to your generosity. Through hard work, progress has been made, yet much still needs to be done. Along with our partners, IOCC will continue working with the people of Beirut toward recovery.

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