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.”
This fund is part of the $5 million in support Canada said it would provide to Lebanon earlier this week.
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.
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.”
According to Gould, Canada will continue to monitor the situation in Lebanon to determine the best way to offer assistance.
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.
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.
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.
However, an investigation is ongoing. The city is now under a two-week state of emergency.