On 4th August 2020, a large explosion occurred at the port of Beirut, Lebanon, injuring more than 5,000 individuals and causing over 150 deaths. The humanitarian impact of this explosion, which occurred amid an economic crisis and the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, is multi-layered, demanding and urgent.
Prior to the explosion migrant workers in Beirut have tended to be an overlooked population group. Between May and July of 2020, IOM initiated a Migrant Worker Needs & Vulnerability Assessment to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the socio-economic and physical needs of migrant workers in Lebanon. This analysis uses recent data on migrant vulnerability to outline underlying COVID-19 related issues encountered by migrant workers in Beirut, prior to the explosion. To date, a total of 734 migrant workers were assessed, of which, 297 were assessed in Beirut, defining the geographical scope of this analysis. It forms the most recent baseline information on the basic needs and vulnerabilities to better understand how and where needs existed before the explosion to assess which vulnerabilities may have been exacerbated across Beirut as a result of the explosion.