In the aftermath of the devastating August 4, 2020 explosion, Impact Lebanon launched the Beirut Disaster Relief fundraising campaign which raised a total of USD 9.2Mn.
As a volunteer-based organization, Impact Lebanon instituted several organizational and procedural measures to ensure the successful delivery of the fundraiser’s objectives, including setting up a fund transfer process, establishing fund allocation and monitoring & evaluation (M&E) teams, and developing key partnerships to extend out our capabilities.
Key outcomes from the institution of fund-related processes include:
• Setting up a process to reliably transfer funding to Lebanon despite the challenging local banking context
• Releasing our fund strategy in August 2020 which outlines our fund allocation intention
• Selecting 18 beneficiary NGOs, out of a pool of 150, to carry out well defined relief projects across 6 verticals: residential rehabilitation, heritage rehabilitation, Micro and Small Business (MSMB) support, livelihoods support, medical bodies and hospital support, and mental health and community support
• Setting up a significant M&E effort to track and verify the progress and impact of funded project
• ~25,000 individuals have been impacted to date through funded relief efforts, which include: the rehabilitation of 1807 residential units, 168 heritage units, 434 MSMBs; the reconstruction and assistance of 3 hospitals; the provision of cash grants to 6 businesses, livelihood support to 729 individuals and a total of 303 psychosocial support sessions
Most projects have already been completed or are expected to be completed by August 2021. We are closely monitoring a few longer-term projects related to hospital reconstruction, residential/heritage rehabilitation and mental health, which are expected to wrap up by 2022. Final progress metrics will be reported once all projects are completed.
The Beirut Disaster Relief Fund was a major turning point for Impact Lebanon as it allowed the team to rethink its role in the context of the broader ongoing civil society efforts to help Lebanon. Looking ahead, and recognizing Impact Lebanon’s role in engaging the Lebanese diaspora, the mandate going forward include the following:
• Promoting active citizenship, political engagement and awareness, specifically in the diaspora, through our existing initiatives: Sawti, Wijhet Nazar, Tarbileb and Jouzouri;
• Addressing the educational needs of Lebanese students, though our planned endowment fund, mentorship program, Edupact, and laptop drive, among others;
• Focusing on capacity building of local Lebanese institutions, through initiatives such as Environment Academy and Dikkeni.
We would like to extend to all of our donors our deepest gratitude for making possible much needed relief efforts for the people of Beirut.