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UN delivering food, other aid in Beirut blast recovery effort
update:August 25,2020
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 25, 2020 -- United Nations agencies are distributing flour, medical protective gear and shelter kits while peacekeepers are donating more blood in support of the Beirut explosion recovery effort, a UN spokesman said on Friday.
"The first shipment of 12,500 metric tons of wheat flour from the World Food Programme (WFP) was offloaded at the port," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. "The shipment will help to stabilize national bread prices and supplies."
The WFP has already distributed food for some 3,600 people and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has handed out more than 2,500 shelter kits, Dujarric said.
The World Health Organization said it has distributed 25 tons of personal protective equipment to 25 hospitals receiving both trauma and COVID-19 cases in Beirut and surrounding areas.
The UN Children's Fund and partners have organized more than 1,100 young people, including Palestinian volunteers, to clean and rehabilitate homes, the spokesman said.
UN peacekeepers serving with the UN mission in southern Lebanon are helping to address the COVID-19 pandemic and help people following the Aug. 4 explosions that nearly levelled the port.
Some 100 of them have donated blood for the victims of the explosions, Dujarric said. The initiative, organized in coordination with the Lebanese Red Cross, seeks to address gaps in blood supplies.
There was a similar event last week in the mission's headquarters, during which nearly 100 other peacekeepers donated their blood, he said, adding that the peacekeepers also donated four ventilators to intensive care and pulmonology units in public hospitals in Tyre in south Lebanon.
High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has just wrapped up a four-day visit to Lebanon. He reaffirmed UNHCR's immediate support to the more than 100,000 people who were severely impacted by the blasts in Beirut.
During his visit, he saw the devastating impact of the blast and met with Lebanese and refugee families. Grandi also called on the international community to continue their support and stand by the people of Lebanon.
The emergency appeal to raise 565 million U.S. dollars in aid for Lebanon is only 8 percent funded, with a total of 43 million dollars received, the spokesman said. However, the amount is likely to increase as member states of the United Nations continue to report their contributions. 
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