DUBAI: Khalaf Al Habtoor, the founding chairman of Al Habtoor Group (AHG), based in the UAE, is reaching out with timely aid for the Lebanese people after the massive explosion at a Beirut port on Tuesday, August 4, that devastated many neighborhoods, leaving more than a hundred dead people and thousands injured.
Al Habtoor, known for his philanthropic activities in the UAE and abroad, said he will extend all possible efforts within his means to aid the affected people in Lebanon as a first step of a multi-pronged assistance plan. As a first step, Al Habtoor will arrange one-month’s worth of urgent medical supplies for hospitals in the country that have more than 1,000 beds. The hospitals to be aided through this initiative include Haroun Hospital, Al Makasid Hospital, Levant Hospital, Rizk Hospital, Rafic Hariri Hospital, Hotel Dieu Hospital and the Khalaf Al Habtoor Hospital, Hrar.
Additionally, the Khalaf Al Habtoor Hospital at Hrar in northern Lebanon will open up auxiliary treatment support for patients who are unable to be accommodated in Beirut hospitals, conducting at least 100 operations for those injured in the explosion. To help those who require much needed recovery and recuperation assistance, the hospital will also rent out a nearby hotel, which will act as a temporary off-site field hospital for post-operative care and treatment.
More than 300,000 people have been left homeless by the blast, which tore through several dozen neighborhoods close to the port area, razing several buildings and shattering glass windows in a much wider area outside the blast zone. Two hotels owned by Habtoor Hospitality in Beirut, Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand and Hilton Metropolitan Palace, have been damaged in the fallout of the explosion.
Al Habtoor said: “The country and people of Lebanon have always had a special place in my heart. This explosion which has devastated the capital city in the midst of an already severe economic crisis has left the common people badly shaken. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and will leave no stone unturned in reaching them the best possible emergency and medical aid, post-operative care and temporary accommodation for those rendered homeless by the tragic event.”
He added that the cries of the Lebanese people for help have been heard and that it was important to respond by offering the right kind of assistance and treatment, in terms of quantity, quality and the timing it reaches the people.
The visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist has extended generous contribution to Lebanon in various forms over the last decade, including refugee aid programs, Ramadan campaigns, wintertime distribution of food packages and blankets, the establishment of The Khalaf Al Habtoor Hospital, and a multitude of charitable donations.