Singapore Red Cross to donate $50,000 to assist in relief

The Singapore Red Cross will contribute an initial sum of $50,000 towards the emergency response and medical support by the Lebanese Red Cross in the devastating warehouse explosion that killed at least 145 and injured more than 5,000 in Beirut, the organisation said yesterday.

It said it will monitor the situation and, if needed, increase its support for the relief efforts by its Lebanese counterpart.

"Our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the people of Lebanon and to the families of those who were injured or lost their lives in this tragedy," Mr Benjamin William, secretary-general and chief executive of the Singapore Red Cross, said in a statement.

"These are very difficult and challenging times as the world continues to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The blasts have affected thousands and disrupted the provision of critical services, such as medical services, made all the more urgent due to the pandemic."

The explosion has piled tremendous pressure on Lebanon's already struggling healthcare facilities, Agence France-Presse reported, adding that the country's intensive care wards were already near capacity because of a recent spike in Covid-19 cases.

None was prepared for the influx of thousands of wounded patients overnight.

The Lebanese Red Cross, which has been the main provider of ambulances in Beirut with more than 300 ambulances and 3,000 emergency technicians on its staff, has appealed on its website for funds and blood donations to help in the crisis.

"It is critical that we all come together to extend whatever support we can to enhance the relief operations," Mr William said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2020, with the headline 'Singapore Red Cross to donate $50,000 to assist in relief'. Print Edition | Subscribe