The explosion of 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate near the port of Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4 leveled whole sections of the city. The blast killed at least 200 people, injured more than 6,000, and left hundreds of thousands homeless.
The blast also severely damaged Beirut’s already fragile health-care system, which was already devastated by the country’s economic crisis and overstretched by the COVID-19 pandemic. It rendered three hospitals in the city nonfunctional and two more partially damaged, reducing the number of hospital beds by 500 to 600, according to the World Health Organization. Among the casualties is Beirut’s St. George Hospital, which had to evacuate patients—including children being treated for cancer—to other hospitals.
To ensure that all children with cancer continue to receive oncology care during this time, the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) is pledging to provide treatment and financial aid to these young patients and their families for 6 months, in cooperation with their treating physicians and in the hospitals they are receiving care.
The CCCL, a member of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), has joined forces with Global Citizen, Lebanese Red Cross, the United Nations World Food Programme, and Wassim Slaiby, Chief Executive Officer of XO Records, to launch “Global Aid for Lebanon,” a campaign to raise funds for the people of Beirut impacted by the explosion.