Statement from Mary’s Meals following the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon

The office of Dorcas – our dedicated programme partner in Lebanon – sustained some damage during the explosion at Beirut port on the evening of Tuesday, August 4th. Thankfully, no staff were injured, and the team was able to return to the office on August 7th, once repairs had been safely carried out. As the explosion occurred in the evening, the educational centers in which we work were fortunately already closed, and the school where we usually serve Mary’s Meals – Antelias Primary School – is shut for summer holidays, therefore no children or staff were present at the time of the blast. These buildings are all located further from the port area and none sustained any significant damage. Centers have, however, been closed since last Wednesday and will remain so for the next two weeks as a state of emergency has been declared.

The team at Dorcas has not had any further reports of injuries, fatalities or destroyed homes within our school community. They are working closely with all parties to ensure that children, volunteers, and staff are safe and accounted for. Antelias Primary School will remain closed for the summer holidays. At the centers – Aley Community Centre and Bourj El Barajneh – distributions are already planned, and the children normally fed by the programmes will be welcomed during specific time slots to pick up their meals and take them home each day.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragic incident. We will continue to work closely with our local partner to provide any support we can during this time of great need.