The explosion in Beirut’s main port last August caught the world’s attention. But the devastation it caused lasted longer than the headlines.
On the day of the blast, 90-year-old Hagop and his 80-year-old sister, Anaheed, were home in their shared Beirut apartment. Suddenly, they started hearing noises from the port that sounded like machine guns and saw a fire, so they rushed away from the windows. Moments later, the blast shook their home, shattering the entryways and throwing Anaheed in the air.
Anaheed was immobilized by furniture that had collapsed on her until help arrived and has struggled to walk since the incident. Still, the siblings say that “overall, it is still a miracle that we were not more seriously injured.”
The apartment was another matter—all of their windows and doors were destroyed. With the threat of winter and rain approaching, this was an even greater concern.
As organizations began working in the area to repair external damage to people’s homes, it was apparent that meeting food needs was an equally pressing challenge. Even before the blast, a country-wide economic crisis and rising inflation had caused food prices to reach unaffordable levels. With the spread of COVID-19, followed by the devastation of the port—a main hub for importing and storing the country’s grain—food insecurity has only grown worse.
Working with our local partner MERATH and leveraging their network of churches in Beirut, World Renew, with matched funding from Canadian Foodgrains Bank, coordinated an emergency food response to help those affected by the crisis.
It was through this response that Hagop and Anaheed received vouchers to buy food from the supermarket, along with hot meals to eat. “I am not able to cook anything right now, so the ready food is great,” Anaheed says.
The siblings are grateful for MERATH’s assistance and continue to pray for a better future. “Our faith is helping us a lot in this difficult time. When I struggle walking, I pray for God to carry me through some more steps. We pray we can walk normal again soon and do not need assistance anymore.”
It’s your donations that help us deliver emergency food and vouchers to people like Hagop and Anaheed, who live on the front lines of crises. Give today, and every dollar you donate will be matched up to 4X by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Canadian government.
To find out more about our work with Canadian Foodgrains Bank and access resources for our upcoming Canadian Foodgrains Bank Sunday on March 7th, go to worldrenew.ca/cfgb