The organization Windows for Beirut and the French aid group Emergency Architects Foundation have launched a fundraiser to benefit the Lebanese capital, which was devastated by explosions on August 4. The homes of over 300,000 people were rendered uninhabitable by the blasts, and the initiative is raising money to repair the city’s buildings. The groups are focusing on repairing windows and facades.
The fundraiser is being led by Lebanese sustainability consultant Lara Moutin, Lebanese journalist Ricardo Karam, and French architect Patrick Coulombel. Coulombel cofounded the Emergency Architects Foundation in 2001. That organization performs humanitarian work around the world by helping to rebuild public buildings after major disasters.
Donations can be made on Emergency Architects’ website here.
Earlier this month, international cultural groups issued a statement of solidarity with Beirut, declaring a commitment to helping the city’s museums and historic buildings rebuild.
Over 100 people were killed in the explosions and thousands of buildings were damaged. CNN reported that the explosion was fueled by 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate, which was being stored in the city’s port after being abandoned by a Russian-owned ship in 2013. Ammonium nitrate is a chemical used in fertilizer and bombs. It is used widely in agriculture but is usually stored in conditions that keep the compound from reacting dangerously.