Lebanon Businessnews News

Half of blast-hit businesses
cannot resume work unaided
$15 billion in losses estimated

by a preliminary impact report

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A first estimate of the cost of damages resulting from the blast at the Port of Beirut puts the overall losses at $15 billion, according to the ‘Beirut Explosion Impact Assessment’, a preliminary appraisal report on the impact of the Port explosion circulated by Strategy&, an international consultancy group. It is the first such comprehensive report being published.

According to the report’s estimates, more than half of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in highly affected areas are unable to resume operations without aid.

The report compiles estimates from various sources including publicly available information from UN agencies, aid organizations, NGOs, and other institutions. The report’s publisher has promised regular updates to a still unraveling situation.

The report provides a consolidated view of the impact of the explosion on housing, food, healthcare, education, culture, and business. It provides a preliminary estimate of needs in each sector. It lists local and international donor support.


Damages affecting the buildings are assessed at $5 billion. A total of nearly 40,000 buildings were affected. These include around 3,400 buildings that have become uninhabitable and 30 to 40 buildings completely destroyed.

Lack of construction material and rising prices, coupled with capital controls, is hindering repairs.

With a 3 km radius, the houses of nearly 300,000 individuals were damaged. The number of damaged residential apartments reached 70,000 units. There were 300,000 individuals displaced, and a number of elderly people refuse to leave their damaged homes.

The funding requirements for housing units of around 171,000 affected individuals residing in the focus areas of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) are estimated at $179 million.

Total losses in the tourism sector are estimated at more than $1 billion with nearly 100,000 jobs lost.

The funding requirements for seven affected hospitals out of 17 damaged ones are in the range of $69 million to $76 million. The four severely damaged hospitals (Saint George, Hopital des Soeurs du Rosaire, Karantina, and Geitawi) need financing of around $66 million.

The healthcare sector damage has caused a sharp decline in healthcare provision for nearly one million residents who rely on healthcare facilities located in the perimeter of the explosion Around 500 extra hospital beds are needed to make up for the lost capacity of damaged hospitals.

Around 15,000 tons of staple food stored in the port’s warehouses was lost. This has reduced the stock of staple food to six weeks from a three-month standard supply. Food shops and markets might not resume operations due to the lack of funds and unavailability of reconstruction material on the market.

The destroyed wheat, around 15,000 tons, is equivalent to six-week consumption. Several milling facilities around the port and the silos containing reserves of grains are damaged, with storage capacities being compromised.

Nearly 300,000 people are targeted for food assistance through the UN OCHA. The number of those needing urgent humanitarian assistance exceeds 150,000. A number of NGOs are providing food support with limited coordination on channeling towards most in need.

Nearly 120 schools were moderately to severely damaged and 20 Technical and Vocational Education and Training centers were affected. As a result, around 63,000 school and TVET students were affected. More than eight universities were damaged.

The funding required for reconstructing 640 affected cultural buildings totals $286 million. These include around 480 heritage buildings and 160 other buildings with special features. The estimated funding required does not cover the reconstruction of damaged creative industries sites such as art and museums.
Date Posted: Aug 21, 2020
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