Statement on Beirut
The Australian Government is shocked and saddened by the massive blasts that occurred in Beirut overnight. Our hearts go out to the people of Lebanon and to those worried for friends and family.
Australia and Lebanon have a strong relationship built on extensive community ties, with more than 230,000 Australians having Lebanese heritage. This tragedy will affect many people in both countries.
Tragically, one Australian has been confirmed killed. We send our sincere condolences to family members and friends.
In the response to this disaster, Australia will direct $2 million in humanitarian support to Lebanon to help with the recovery from the devastating explosions in Beirut.
The funding will consist of $1 million each to trusted aid partners, the World Food Programme and the Red Cross movement, to help to ensure food, medical care and essential items are provided to those affected by this tragedy.
The Australian Embassy in Beirut has been damaged significantly by the explosions. Some Embassy staff received injuries, however all are safe and accounted for. They are working hard to help Australians affected and continuing to seek urgent advice from local authorities in relation to Australians in Lebanon.
This initial humanitarian support will be drawn from the existing aid budget.
Australians in Lebanon in need of assistance should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on +61 2 6261 3305 and monitor smartraveller.gov.au. Those in Australia who are concerned about friends and family in Lebanon should call 1300 555 135.