Ontario Providing $2 Million in Urgent Financial Support to Help Those Affected by the Beirut Explosion

August 11, 2020 9:00 A.M.

Office of the Premier

TORONTO — Today, Premier Doug Ford announced the Ontario government is providing $2 million to the Canadian Red Cross through the International Disaster Relief Program to help people and families affected by the tragic explosion that occurred in Beirut, Lebanon on August 4, 2020. This is one of the largest contributions the Ontario government has ever made towards an international humanitarian relief effort.

“My heart breaks for the victims and the families affected by this terrible tragedy in Beirut,” said Premier Ford. “Along with Ontario’s Lebanese community, we stand with the people of Lebanon in this time of grief. To support immediate relief efforts, we are providing the Canadian Red Cross with significant financial support so they can assist the people and communities in most urgent need.”

The Ontario government’s contribution will help the Red Cross prepare for and respond to humanitarian needs as the situation continues to evolve in Lebanon, including for mobile health outreach. The Red Cross is working to coordinate emergency relief and recovery efforts, getting help to people in affected areas as quickly as possible.

“From the moment of the explosion in Beirut, Red Cross personnel have been responding around the clock by providing emergency medical assistance, food, water, masks, gloves and other essential relief items to assist the people impacted by this tragic event,” said Conrad Sauvé, President and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross. “We are grateful to the Government of Ontario for their generous financial support, which will help the Red Cross to continue its critical work on the ground in Lebanon. The funding announced today will go a long way to assist with the immediate needs of the individuals and families affected by the explosion, and as they begin their road to recovery.”

“We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to Premier Doug Ford and the Ontario provincial government,” said Mr. Greg Bostajian, Honorary Consul of Lebanon in Toronto. “Their generous and historic contribution will help the Lebanese people on their road to recovery. On behalf of the diaspora of Lebanese Canadians living in Ontario, we are thankful for the humanitarian efforts of our leaders and our community. The support we have received is inspiring and reminds us how blessed we are to have two beautiful nations to call home.”

Quick Facts

  • More than 200 people were reported killed and thousands were injured as a result of a massive explosion in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, on August 4, 2020. Authorities expect numbers to rise as the work of the search and rescue teams continues.
  • The situation on the ground in Beirut remains critical. Humanitarian relief is needed to meet the immediate needs of the people impacted by the blast, including the provision of health care, food, water and shelter.
  • Red Cross teams are currently on the ground in Beirut responding to humanitarian needs, including rescuing and transporting critically wounded people to hospitals, performing search and rescue operations, providing emergency shelter and distributing essential items to families in need.