CEO of XO Wassim "Sal" Slaiby, along with Global Citizen, Red Cross Lebanon, the United Nations World Food Programme, and the Children’s Cancer Center Lebanon (CCCL), launched "Global Aid for Lebanon," a campaign to raise funds for the victims of the Beirut explosion, which has killed at least 150 people, injured more than 5,000, and left hundreds and thousands of people homeless.
The campaign has been kicked off by a $250,000 donation by Sal & Rima Slaiby, who are Lebanese. Sal Slaiby is an artist manager who works with The Weeknd, French Montana, and more. The campaign is directing funds to Red Cross Lebanon, the United Nations World Food Programme, and the Children’s Cancer Center Lebanon (CCCL). If you cannot donate, you can still take action by sharing a request for donations on social media.
"My heart aches for Lebanon," Sal Slaiby said. The massive destruction scenes brought back to my memory the hard times I experienced with my parents during the war and that forced me to leave Lebanon at an early age following the loss of my dad, so I urge you all to take part in the ‘Global Aid for Lebanon’ campaign to raise funds and support for the region."
My heart aches for Lebanon.
Wassim "Sal" Slaiby, CEO of XO
George Kettaneh, secretary-general of the Lebanese Red Cross, said: "In a country that is suffering now from so many overlapping crisis and tragedies, the Lebanese Red Cross reaffirms its commitment to stand by the most vulnerable and to provide neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian aid. Our ambulance volunteers were on the front line of the response after the blast, and we are now working with all other aid actors to provide relief, shelter, primary healthcare and basic assistance to all those who need it most."
Abdallah Alwardat, country director and representative of the United Nations World Food Programme in Lebanon, added:
“Nearly 85% of food in Lebanon is imported — much of it coming through the country’s largest port, which now lies in ruins. Even before the explosion, soaring unemployment and the global pandemic meant many people were already struggling to meet their basic needs. We’re working to get food to families in urgent need and to offer logistical and supply chain expertise for the ports of Beirut or Tripoli to ensure no food shortages occur."
A drone picture shows the scene of an explosion at the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. 5, 2020.
To learn more and donate to the campaign, click here.
“I may have not been close enough to hear the blast, but we heard the tragic cries of the mothers and fathers who lost their children, the tears of the Lebanese people who were left with nothing," said Rima Fakih Slaiby, Ambassador of the Children Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL). "The heartbreak of a nation, our beloved nation, will always be within our hearts. The war forced us to leave and we cannot sit idly by and ignore clear cries for help, so we urge you all to take part in the ‘Global Aid for Lebanon’ campaign to raise funds and support Lebanon.”
Lebanon was already in economic trouble before the Aug. 4 explosion destroyed the Port of Beirut, which handles 80% of the country's imports, including food. The country has experienced high rates of unemployment, and COVID-19 has made day-to-day life for many a struggle. Human Rights Watch issued a report this week before the explosion warning of mass hunger across the country due to COVID-19.
Slaiby recently helped raise more than $100K for hunger relief due to COVID-19 in Lebanon. Motivated by an article he read, which reported that 75% of Lebanon’s people were in need of aid during the earliest stages of the pandemic, he started a GoFundMe one night. By the next morning, he had raised over $100K.
“I hope this inspires others to speak up and push initiatives that mean something to them,” Slaiby told Global Citizen.
The devastating Beirut explosions displaced and injured thousands, all in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Global Citizen has partnered with Slaiby to step up as a global community and support the Lebanese people.