Beirut port explosions 2020
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.
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.
- Senate Statement – Anniversary of the Beirut Port Explosion, 4 August 2021
- Minister for Foreign Affairs: Statement on Beirut, 5 August 2020
- Joint Statement — Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs & Minister for Women, Minister for Defence: Australia delivers humanitarian supplies to Beirut, 15 August 2020),