Canada’s humanitarian response in Beirut

News release

August 19, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

As the situation on the ground in Beirut following the August 4, 2020, explosion continues to be critical, the urgent, immediate needs of Lebanese and other affected communities are becoming clearer. The UN has launched an emergency appeal on behalf of 300,000 people; almost half of the appeal’s funding will go to food assistance. Currently, as many as a million people need health support and almost 300,000 need shelter assistance. Concerted and quick humanitarian action is required to help those impacted by the blast, including by providing them with health care, food, shelter and water.

The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today announced that the Government of Canada will allocate $13.5 million of its funding in response to the explosion to UN humanitarian agencies and the Lebanese Red Cross. From this amount, it will also increase its contribution to the Humanitarian Coalition’s Lebanon Matching Fund by up to $3 million, bringing the government’s total potential contribution to $8 million. Together, this funding will support a range of humanitarian activities and a timely, effective and coordinated humanitarian response.

With today’s announcement, Canada has allocated $20 million of the $30 million in humanitarian and development assistance earmarked to respond to the devastation the explosion caused. Canada continues to monitor the situation and remains in close contact with partners on the ground to determine the best way to distribute the remaining funding.


“Canadians are deeply affected by the terrible tragedy that is unfolding in Beirut. Today’s announcement both recognizes the incredible generosity of Canadians and responds to the additional humanitarian appeals made by the international community. Coordinated and thoughtful humanitarian action is essential to an effective response on the ground. By working with these trusted partners, Canada is ensuring that its assistance will quickly go to the people who need help the most.”

- Karina Gould, Minister of International Development

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada quickly responded to the tragic explosion in Beirut with an August 5, 2020, announcement of up to $5 million in humanitarian assistance, which included a contribution to the Lebanon Matching Fund and $1.5 million to the Lebanese Red Cross. 

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on August 10, 2020, that Canada would provide an additional $25 million in assistance for the people of Lebanon. This included increasing the Lebanon Matching Fund up to a new maximum of $5 million.

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Guillaume Dumas
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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