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'They lost everything': MSF France says aid response to Beirut blast lacking

Beirut/Paris: A senior official of Doctors Without Borders on Wednesday said aid organisations did not "respond sufficiently" to the aftermath of the massive blast that killed more than 100 in Lebanon.

Mego Terzian, the head of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in France, who is himself French and Lebanese, said he had family living near the port of Beirut, where the explosion took place on Tuesday evening. Lebanese rescue teams pulled out bodies and hunted for missing in the wreckage of buildings on Wednesday as investigations blamed negligence for a massive warehouse explosion that sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut, killing at least 135.
More than 5,000 people were injured in Tuesday's explosion at Beirut port, Health Minister Hamad Hassan said, and up to 250,000 were left without homes fit to live in after shockwaves smashed building facades, sucked furniture out into streets and shattered windows miles inland.

MSF, who has teams in the north of Lebanon, the Bekaa valley, south Beirut and Saida, are supporting hospitals in Beirut, Terzian said. He added that MSF has sent donations, including trauma kits, to Lebanese health authorities. He expressed concern that the blast would pose "major risks" to the COVID-19 situation in Lebanon and would worsen the country's already burdensome financial management woes.
The explosion was the most powerful ever to rip through Beirut, a city still scarred by civil war that ended three decades ago and reeling from an economic meltdown and a surge in coronavirus infections. Terzian said he predicts it would take about a month before the fallout from the explosion stabilises.

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