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Homelessness crisis in Lebanon six months after Beirut port explosion

TENS of thousands of Beirut families remain homeless, six months on from the massive explosion that devastated the city’s port district, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said today.

Lebanon is struggling to cope with a housing crisis amid political paralysis and deepening poverty, which has worsened due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the NRC said.

Some 9,000 homes of the 200,000 damaged or destroyed on August 4 remain to be repaired and an estimated 15,000 people are still receiving support with shelter, food and water. The economic crisis has led to about 70,000 workers losing their jobs.

NRC spokesman Carlo Gherardi said: “Thousands of homes have been repaired, thanks to huge investment and work by the people affected and the international community, but the stark reality is that the most vulnerable are still displaced.

“Tens of thousands are still unable to secure a new home or return to where they used to live. It is now imperative to look beyond the structural damage and help the people in Beirut stand on their feet again. 

“Lebanon needs wide-ranging governance reforms and long-term international support to ensure job creation, service provision and social protection. The doors to people’s homes may have been repaired, but the damage to the lives behind those doors remains.”

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