When disaster strikes, #Rotary members respond. Here’s a snapshot of how a Rotary Global Grant helped Beirut after the 2020 port explosion. Members made this possible. Learn more about our grant program and how you can help:
The clouds of white smoke billowing into the air over Beirut were an ominous sign that something had gone terribly wrong in a storage hangar at the city’s port. Then a fireball of orange smoke and flames erupted straight up into the sky.

The massive explosion on 4 August 2020 killed more than 200 people, displaced hundreds of thousands more from their homes, and destroyed or damaged many structures. It was caused by a dangerous mix of materials that had been stored in the hangar — including ammonium nitrate, oil, kerosene, hydrochloric acid, miles of fuse wire on spools, and 15 tons of fireworks.

Like many buildings near the site of the explosion, Beirut hospitals were left with extreme damage, often making it difficult or impossible to treat patients safely. This led to a sudden surge in demand at other hospitals not directly affected by the blast.

As the magnitude of the destruction became known, Rotary clubs in Lebanon and around the world asked themselves what they could do to respond to a disaster that was playing out amid a deadly global pandemic. They soon realized that hospitals, some of which had been severely damaged, were in dire need of help. Beirut-area clubs received donations from clubs around the world; some worked with clubs outside Lebanon to apply for global grants from The Rotary Foundation.

Read the rest of the story here:

Rotary clubs in Lebanon spring into action after a major disaster | Rotary International