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Scottish Government releases funds to support aftermath of Beirut Explosion

The Scottish government is releasing £300,000 from its Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF) to support those affected by the huge explosion in the Lebanese capital, Beirut last month.

More than 200 people were killed and around 300,000 were immediately made homeless by the huge blast which flattened a large part of the city around the port, a key lifeline for badly needed food imports. The explosion has exacerbated an already severe political and economic crisis in the country, compounded by huge number of refugees from the civil war in nearby Syria and elsewhere in the region and now the spread of Covid-19 which has accelerated in the weeks following the blast.

The HEF releases funds through 8 member charities who provide advice to the Scottish Government via a panel on how best to spend the £1 million annual fund on those most in need of humanitarian support.  The member charities are the British Red Cross, Christian Aid, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Tearfund, SCIAF and Save the Children.

A number of HEF panel members have submitted proposals aimed to help the most vulnerable in the greater Beirut area, to provide temporary shelter, food, water and medical assistance along with cash transfers and other support to help the local economy recover in the coming months. These proposals will be peer reviewed and the 3 judged to be the most appropriate and effective at this time will be submitted for approval by the International Development Minister, Jenny Gilruth MSP next week.

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