UN4Beirut was initiated by the Staff Council for the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in coordination with other UN Staff Unions in Lebanon. It is aimed at providing support for the Lebanese people and their devastated city in a time of great distress.
On 4 August, a massive explosion destroyed the Beirut port and ripped through blocks of the city for miles around, killing more than 170 people, wounding about 6,000 and leaving some 300,000 without shelter.
“ESCWA and other UN staff councils in Lebanon immediately acted to support colleagues who lost loved ones or were wounded, or lost their homes. Staff Unions from all duty stations also launched a system-wide fundraising campaign, coordinated by ESCWA, and we are grateful for the generous response so far,” said ESCWA Staff Council Head and Campaign Organizer Mona Fattah.
“Today, we need to be on the ground with the citizens of our beloved Beirut, wounded but ever-more beautiful with hundreds of volunteers roaming its streets and appeasing its citizens,” she added.
More than 250 UN staff members gathered in front of the UN house, equipped with masks, brooms, trash bags, gloves—and plenty of love and hope.
“Now is the time to leave our desks and change our tools,” one of them said. “Our Charter proclaims faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person. Today, here in Beirut, it translates in providing concrete support to citizens and bringing them our message of hope and solidarity with our own hands.”
The UN team split into 3 different groups which operated in different affected areas. Staff members helped residents sweep debris, shift glass and rubble, pack them in different containers, and send them out to specialized NGOs for recycling or upcycling.
This is one of many initiatives of UN4Beirut. Join us in expressing solidarity for a better tomorrow, in Beirut and everywhere in the world.
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