On August 4, a massive explosion in the port area close to the central district of Beirut, equivalent to a 4.5 magnitude earthquake, shook the grounds of the metropolitan area of over 2 million people. Buildings crumbled, cars flipped, glass broke, electricity was cut and homes as far as 10 km from the explosion were damaged. To date, over 200 people have been reported dead and 6,000 injured, but many are still missing. 300,000 people are estimated to have been displaced from their homes and multiple hospitals have been destroyed, putting extreme strain on the healthcare capacities.
“In a situation where the needs are enormous and the resources limited, the generous contribution from H&M Foundation will serve those whose lives in seconds turned into a nightmare."
Margareta Wahlström, President of Swedish Red Cross.
“In a situation where the needs are enormous and the resources limited, the generous contribution from H&M Foundation will serve those whose lives in seconds turned into a nightmare: the now wounded and homeless. Lebanese Red Cross will assist with continuous emergency health care, and support people with shelter, food, water and sanitation. The ongoing search for those missing amid the rubble, the blood donation services, and the psychosocial support are also essential. The emergency phase is not over yet,” says Margareta Wahlström, President of Swedish Red Cross.
The donation from H&M Foundation will primarily contribute to;
- Shelter – providing emergency housing and basic needs.
- Livelihoods – providing basic items like mattresses, blankets and hygiene-kits as well as food.
- Health – supporting affected existing health systems with mobile medical units, first aid, pre-hospital care, blood transfusion services, equipment and medicines etc.
- Water, sanitation and hygiene – providing safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and preventing the spread of covid-19.
- Protection and inclusion – particularly supporting vulnerable groups like children, elderly, persons with disabilities and people suffering from diseases, as well as preventing an increase of sexual abuse and gender-based violence.
“Lebanon was already experiencing a serious economic crisis, and the country's healthcare system was under heavy pressure due to the Covid-19 pandemic even before this emergency. The effects of this explosion are devastating. Lives are claimed, people are injured and left homeless overnight. To support The Red Cross in their crucial work H&M Foundation donates USD 100,000 and we also encourage other donors to take immediate action,” says Diana Amini, Global Manager, H&M Foundation.
The non-profit H&M Foundation is a lifelong and privately funded commitment from the Stefan Persson family, founders of H&M group. Through partnerships with experienced organisations around the globe, the H&M Foundation aims to accelerate the progress needed to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The mission of the H&M Foundation is to drive long lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. H&M Foundation works within the areas of Education, Water, Equality and Planet. In addition to this, it can also provide emergency relief.
Since 2013, the family has donated 1.5 billion Swedish krona ($200 million/€163 million) to the H&M Foundation.