Dearborn-based foundation launches campaign to support relief efforts in Lebanon

A banner with representations of the Lebanese flag hangs on a damaged building in a neighborhood near the site of last week's explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (Hassan Ammar, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DEARBORN, Mich. – A national Arab American foundation, based in Dearborn, is launching its second fundraising campaign to help support the ongoing relief efforts in Lebanon following the deadly explosion earlier this month.

The blast in Beirut on Aug. 4 killed more than 175 people, injured at least 6,000 and left tens of thousands homeless. Even before the explosion, Lebanon was dealing with increasing poverty, economic collapse and corruption, while in the midst of a pandemic.

The Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) launched its first relief campaign on Aug. 5, granting $75,155 to the Lebanese Red Cross, to support their on-the-ground efforts.

The second campaign will support the work of several nonprofits including AFYA Foundation, ANERA and Direct Relief under the coordinated efforts of the American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL), to urgently airlift medical and pharmaceutical supplies and equipment to Beirut.

CAAP announced that 100 percent of current donations to its Disaster Relief Fund will support the efforts to airlift these critical supplies to Beirut, where hospitals only have a few days of essential supplies available.

To learn more about the fund -- and for donation information -- click here.

It’s still not known what sparked the fire that ignited nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate that were stored for years in Beirut’s port next to densely populated residential areas. Documents have emerged that show the country’s top leadership and security officials were aware of the stockpile.

The Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) is a national community foundation and a national institution of ACCESS -- the largest Arab American community nonprofit in the U.S.

The Detroit Metropolitan area is home to the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the U.S., with Lebanese Americans making up the largest portion, according to the U.S. Census in 2010. The Census classifies Arab Americans as “White,” so the numbers are likely much greater.

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Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.