Following the devastating twin explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, on 4 August 2020, UNESCO is mobilizing leading organizations and experts from Lebanon and abroad in an effort to coordinate emergency and longer-term measures to safeguard the city’s severely damaged education system and cultural heritage. The explosions claimed hundreds of lives and left thousands injured also inflicting severe damages to some of Beirut’s most historic neighbourhoods, major museums, galleries and religious sites at a time when Lebanon was already reeling from other crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.UNESCO extends its deepest condolences to the families of the impacted and renews its strong support to the city of Beirut.
UNESCO hosted three virtual ResiliArt debates in the framework of its action #ForBeirut to mobilize support for the recovery of the Lebanese capital, which was devastated by two explosions at its port on 4 August.
- On 10 September 2020, from 7 pm to 8.30 pm (CET). OnResiliArt Lebanon: Defending cultural diversity through creativity, FOLLOW THE DEBATE HERE.
On 17 September 2020, ResiliArt Lebanon: Museums and Art Galleries for the Return of Cultural Life in Beirut , FOLLOW THE DEBATE HERE.
On 24 September 2020, ResiliArt Lebanon: Bridging the Past and Future through Built Heritage , FOLLOW THE DEBATE HERE.
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640Historic buildings damaged
208Schools damaged or destroyed
500million USD needed for heritage and creative economy
UNESCO will ensure that education and culture are a central part of reconstruction efforts
Beirut, UNESCO Creative City for Literature
Following the explosions that halted the lives of hundreds of inhabitants and caused severe damages to the historic neighborhoods and cultural institutions in Beirut, a UNESCO Creative City of Literature, the 246 UNESCO Creative Cities around the world have conveyed solidarity messages, launched fundraising campaigns, donated food and medicines, as well as organized cultural and educational activities highlighting Beirut’s vibrant cultural heritage, creativity, and scene.
To further highlight the various solidarity initiatives undertaken by the Creative Cities, the Secretariat of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, with the technical support of Enghien-les-Bains, a Creative City of Media Arts, developed a video in this regard. The video further calls upon each and every one of us to support UNESCO’s Li Beirut initiative in order to help the city of Beirut in its recovery.
Li Beirut Fund to Help Revive the City's landscape and Cultural Life (video)
The Lebanese cultural sector in crisis
In the longer run, it is imperative to support cultural activities in order to ensure a sustainable renaissance of the previously burgeoning cultural sector.
$22 millions needed for education, 85 000 students affected, more than 160 schools damaged
Immediate rehabilitation of 40 schools
Students in Beirut will not go back to school in September due to the explosion, which comes in addition to school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.UNESCO supports distance learning and teachers for children to overcome this crisis through safe learning environments and psycho-social support. We must take urgent action to ensure that youth in Lebanon gets equal access to quality education. It is their right.
Follow the progress made to rehabilitate schools impacted by the blast
Every two weeks, UNESCO and the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education will publish a Fact Sheet on the progress of our efforts to rehabilitate schools impacted by the blast in Beirut. Stay connected and follow the progress.
Fairuz Mourns Her City in Li Beirut
In 1984, at the height of civil war, Fairuz, the iconic Lebanese singer, lamented in her song Li Beirut (translating « For Beirut ») that her beloved city had become a place of fire and smoke, and asked, "Why has it shut off its lights? »