I have always had a great admiration for Lebanon whenever I think of this beautiful country. Despite its own economic crisis, they are still opening their doors to their neighbours, the refugees from Syria. Sadly, on 4 August, Beirut, capital of Lebanon, experienced a massive explosion that shocked the entire world. Over 100 people were killed, about 5,000 others were injured, and some 300,000 people were left homeless. With schools and hospitals devastated and debris now a common sight, Beirut no longer looks quite the same.
World Vision’s own warehouse, which stored food, medical, educational and hygiene supplies, has been badly damaged in the explosion. As the explosion destroyed the port of Beirut, which was the country’s main point of entry for imported goods and supplies, the cost of living for everyone in Lebanon, both nationals and refugees, will become even higher. World Vision’s response is already underway, with necessities such as food and hygiene kits being distributed to children and families who have become homeless. We also remember those who are hurt and distressed in our prayers.
At the same time, we are also providing assistance to those who suffer in the COVID-19 pandemic. We are promoting preventive measures, as well as supporting health systems, health workers and affected children. I am grateful that, as of 10 July, our response has reached 43 million people globally. We know that there is still a long way to go before we beat this pandemic, but as long as we play our part and keep believing, we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
On 22 September this year, it will be the 70th anniversary of Dr. Bob Pierce’s founding of World Vision. It has never been a lonely ride over the years. Thanks to our partners, donors, supporters and volunteers, we have been able to continue our work, bringing practical help and hope to the poor and needy in the world. On this special occasion, we have also invited some of our friends to share their story with World Vision. I hope you will enjoy reading about these Hidden Heroes in this issue’s special feature.
Acting Chief Executive Officer