Following the massive explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut on 4 August, the world united in mourning and alleviating the suffering of those involved.
Thanks to social media, emergency response was swift in serving timely updates and enabling online fundraisers - making sure to allocate funds to those in need.
Globally, people flocked to Facebook's Crisis Page to get and share first-hand information. In Lebanon, residents seeked out the Crisis Page to offer shelter to those who’ve lost their homes, to search for missing loved ones and to render essential services such as blood donations. Locals were also quick to activate Facebook's Safety Check, with tens of thousands cheking in to let their friends and family know they’re safe.
Facebook's next step in the relief efforts is to donate more than $2.1 million to local hospitals, medical institutions and NGOs in Lebanon.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's Chief Operating Officer took to announce the news on Facebook. In a statement, Ramez Shehadi, Managing Director, Facebook Middle East and North Africa added, “in support of the vital work that organizations and individuals are doing on the ground in Beirut, we are donating more than $2.1 million to local hospitals, medical institutions and NGOs to support relief and recovery efforts, $1 million of which has been matched by our community as part of a Facebook fundraiser."
Shehadi continued, "moreover, we’re working with hospitals and local partners to launch local access to our Blood Donation tool – which allows blood donors to find nearby blood donation centers in need of support – and supporting local newsrooms impacted. We will continue to work with different organizations that are making a real difference at this critical time.”
In addition to Facebook donating $2.1 million, you can use Facebook and Instagram to help the relief efforts! How?
- Donate to Facebook fundraisers, such as Karmagawa and the Norwegian Red Cross
- Support and help those looking for missing family and friends through this Instagram page
- Join Facebook Groups to help those on the ground with information. See Beirut explosion - انفجار بيروت (community response), Beirut Explosion Updates, and 4 August 2020 Beirut Explosion
Photo: Clara Rayes for Unsplash