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Beirut port explosions 2020

A man wearing a mask walks through the streets of Beirut, with damaged buildings and cars in the background.
A man wearing a mask walks amid scenes of destruction in Beirut following the explosion on 4 August 2020. Credit: Dalia Khamissy/British Red Cross.


Australia supported the people of Lebanon to respond to the devastating impact of the major explosions that occurred at Beirut Port on 4 August 2020.

More than 215 people died, more than 7,000 were injured, and more than 300,000 were displaced because their homes were damaged.

The explosion destroyed the port and resulted in the near total destruction of downtown Beirut. There was significant damage to infrastructure, including to businesses, schools, transport and water supply.

Beyond the immediate damage of the blast, the Beirut port explosions has exacerbated the dire situation in Lebanon, contributing to longer-term vulnerabilities and a growing socio-economic crisis.

Australia’s humanitarian assistance

The global community responded quickly to help Lebanon, including through search and rescue support, medical supplies and equipment, mobile field hospitals and cash donations to support responders on the ground.

Australia committed $5 million in immediate humanitarian assistance and provided humanitarian relief supplies to Lebanon to help with the recovery efforts. The funding included $2 million each to trusted humanitarian partners, the World Food Programme and the Red Cross Movement, and $1 million to the United Nations Children's Fund to help to ensure food, medical care and essential items were provided to those affected.

Australia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Rebekah Grindlay giving a thumbs up to the ADF C-130J Hercules aircraft at the airport.
Australia’s former Ambassador to Lebanon Rebekah Grindlay welcomes an ADF C-130J Hercules aircraft to Beirut as it delivers humanitarian relief supplies on 14 August. Credit: DFAT.
Australian Defence Force officer unloading supplies from the ADF C-130J Hercules aircraft.
A member of the Australian Defence Force unloads supplies from the aircraft. Credit: DFAT.

On 14 August 2020, an Australian Defence Force C-130J Hercules aircraft delivered urgently needed humanitarian supplies to Beirut, including mobile warehouses to help replace storage facilities destroyed in the blast, and shelter kits and tools to help address urgent needs for the 300,000 people left homeless. A further two flights on 21 and 31 August 2020 delivered additional shelter materials and blankets for those affected.

Australia partnered with LebRelief, Caritas, World Vision and Oxfam to distribute these essential supplies to people affected by the explosion.

Photo of Ambassador to Lebanon Rebekah Grindlay talking to a representatives of the World Food Programme.
Australia’s former Ambassador to Lebanon Rebekah Grindlay meets with representatives of the World Food Programme as they deliver food supplies to Beirut. Credit: DFAT.
Two men in fluoro vests work together to unload World Food Programme supplies from a truck in Beirut.
A delivery of Australian-supported World Food Programme supplies are unloaded in Beirut. Credit: Ziad Rizkallah/WFP.
Damage to warehouses and vehicles at the Beirut Port.
The blasts caused widespread destruction, including to the warehouses near Beirut port. Image: Dalia Khamissy/British Red Cross

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