As Egypt continues to airlift regular relief supplies to Lebanon in the wake of the 4 August blast at Beirut port, the Coptic Church has sent 12 tons of foodstuffs and medical supplies to the beleaguered country, through the Middle East Council of Churches. The Church’s donation was among a shipment of supplies contributed by the Coptic Church, al-Azhar, and the Egyptian Care Bank. It was flown to Beirut by two military planes.
According to Lebanese officials, the explosion was caused by ammonium nitrate, 2,750 tons of which had been stored in a warehouse at the city port for six years after being confiscated from a ship destined to Somalia. The explosion killed at least 177 people, injured around 6000, rendered an estimated 300,000 homeless, and caused property damage of USD10-15 billion, working carnage on the city. Silos at the port, which carried 80 per cent of Lebanon’s stock of grain were burned
Meanwhile and until 23 August, Egypt has airlifted to Beirut eight shipments of relief supplies; the first, a planeload of medical supplies, was flown on 5 August, one day after the bombing. Egyptian military aircraft has since then been shuttling between Cairo and Beirut carrying Egypt relief goods that include food, medical supplies, specialised medical teams, and construction materials and glass panels for reconstruction.
Egyptian doctors have been teaming up with other medical staff at the medical centre of Beirut Arab University to provide care for victims.
According to Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, Egypt’s Minister of High Education and Scientific Research, 21 medical professors from Egyptian universities have flown over. They are specialised in general surgery, orthopaedics, plastic surgery, burns, urology, paediatric, eye diseases, ear, nose and throat assistance, in addition to professors in psychiatry.
24 August 2020