Advertisement

Federal government to match Canadian donations to Lebanon after Beirut explosions

Click to play video 'Beirut explosion: Canada launches Lebanon Matching Fund to assist devastated city' Beirut explosion: Canada launches Lebanon Matching Fund to assist devastated city
WATCH: Canada launches Lebanon Matching Fund to assist devastated city

The federal government will match donations made by Canadians seeking to help those impacted by the devastating explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, Canada’s International Development Minister says.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Karina Gould said every dollar donated by Canadians to the Humanitarian Coalition and its members between Aug. 4 and Aug. 24 will be matched by the government, up to $2 million under the new Lebanon Matching Fund.

According to Gould, the Humanitarian Coalition is a group of “12 experienced Canadian organizations present in Lebanon and delivering critical assistance.”

Read more: Canada to provide $5M to Lebanon after deadly blasts: Champagne

This fund is part of the $5 million in support Canada said it would provide to Lebanon earlier this week.

Story continues below advertisement

The government said $1.5 million of that funding will be provided to Lebanon Red Cross to meet urgent needs like food, shelter and emergency medical services.

Gould said “concerted humanitarian action is required” to meet the immediate needs of people impacted by the blast.

“In the wake of this disaster we need to act quickly to save as many lives as possible and reduce suffering,” she said.

Story continues below advertisement

Speaking at the press conference on Saturday, Bill Chambers, president and CEO of Save the Children Canada, said this is a “safe and reliable way to make sure the money gets to those most in need.”

He said there is a “multilateral mechanism” to decide where the most urgent need is, which will ensure funds “go to where the humanitarian need is most.”

Click to play video 'Beirut explosion: Donations from Lebanon Matching Fund will go ‘where the humanitarian need is most,’ Chambers says' Beirut explosion: Donations from Lebanon Matching Fund will go ‘where the humanitarian need is most,’ Chambers says
Beirut explosion: Donations from Lebanon Matching Fund will go ‘where the humanitarian need is most,’ Chambers says

According to Gould, Canada will continue to monitor the situation in Lebanon to determine the best way to offer assistance.

Read more: Police fire tear gas as protests continue in Lebanon after deadly blasts

Gould said the federal government has received 64 requests for help from Canadians in Lebanon.

And the Canadian Embassy will reopen on Aug. 10, Gould said.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video 'Beirut explosion: Views from port show devastation as workers continue clearing debris' Beirut explosion: Views from port show devastation as workers continue clearing debris
Beirut explosion: Views from port show devastation as workers continue clearing debris

The explosions, which devastated a large portion of Beirut on Tuesday, have left more than 150 dead and over 5,000 injured.

The blasts which occurred near Beirut’s port and central district destroyed homes as well as key infrastructure.

Preliminary estimates suggest around 300,000 people have been displaced by the explosions.

The first explosion took place just after 6 p.m. local time.

Read more: Lebanon officials long warned of Beirut port’s chemical explosives: documents

It remains unclear what caused the explosions, though authorities believe the first blast may have been at a warehouse containing fireworks located at the port.

The second blast is believed to have occurred at a warehouse used to store nearly 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate — a highly explosive material.

Story continues below advertisement

However, an investigation is ongoing. The city is now under a two-week state of emergency.