Updated: Aug 24, 2020
The blast that occurred in the Port of Beirut on Tuesday has resulted in at least 154 deaths, 5,000 injured and around 300,000 people being made homeless.
The blast the occurred in the Port of Beirut on Tuesday has resulted in at least 154 deaths, 5,000 injured and around 300,000 people being made homeless.
This event raises many concerns. Among them are:
How were 2,750 tones of Ammonium Nitrate explosive allowed to be stored, unsecured, in the centre of Lebanon’s only major port?
The country is already experiencing an economic, social and political crisis and protests against the government over the explosion have already taken place. What will happen to stability within Lebanon now?
Furthermore, Lebanon, a country the size of the UK counties of Devon and Cornwall is temporary home for around 1.5 million refugees, has the highest per-capita concentration of refugees in the world – more than 1 in every 7 people. Given the appalling state of the economy and the fact that 300,000 people have been made homeless by Tuesday’s blast, will Lebanon now produce the source of the next migration problem to face Europe and the UK?
Tuesday’s blast creates two threats: firstly that of unrest in Lebanon created by existing economic, social and political tensions but triggered by Tuesday’s explosion and, secondly, the real possibility that the flow of migrants to the EU and UK will now increase if the refugees in the country are able to find the means to pay people smugglers.