Following the recent explosion in the port of Beirut, Sweden has decided to increase its support for victims of the devastation by close to SEK17 million (US$2 million). In addition to its previous grant to the Swedish Red Cross (SEK5 million; US$537,000), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has decided to provide new funding to Save the Children (SEK5 million; US$537,000), the International Rescue Committee (SEK9 million; US$967,000), and Action Against Hunger (SEK3 million; US$322,000).
"Vulnerable families should receive cash grants so that they can pay rent and have somewhere to live, but also to afford repairs to their destroyed homes”, said Carin Jämtin, Sida's Director-General. "We focus on supporting children and young people who are at risk of being exploited in different ways and, for example, being forced into child labor. The needs remain very large."
In collaboration with local partners, Sweden is also working to improve access to food and livelihoods. In addition, small business owners will receive cash grants to support them in restarting their businesses.
In total, Sweden has now provided almost SEK22 million (US$2 million) in direct support to Lebanon since the explosion.