UNIFIL peacekeepers donate blood for victims of Beirut explosions
Nearly 100 UNIFIL peacekeepers – both military and civilian – donated blood yesterday and today for the victims of the horrific 4 August explosions that devastated a part of Beirut, left hundreds dead and thousands injured.
Working in coordination with the Lebanese Red Cross, 96 UNIFIL personnel donated blood in the Mission’s hospital in Naqoura, south Lebanon.
This is a part of a number of areas the Mission is offering assistance in dealing with the aftermath of the explosions, which also left a UNIFIL ship docked in the Beirut Port damaged and 23 of its naval peacekeepers injured.
Last week, UNIFIL personnel joined a collective effort of the UN Staff Unions in Lebanon, as part of the “#UN4Beirut” initiative, to clean the streets of the Beirut district devastated by the explosions.
Commenting on the blood donation, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col expressed hope that the blood collected from UNIFIL personnel could help those in urgent need.
“These horrific explosions that have devastated parts of Beirut and taken away so many lives are calling for swift actions aimed at assisting the affected people,” he said, adding, “We do hope that this blood donation, carried out by UNIFIL in coordination with the Lebanese Red Cross can provide relief to the Lebanese medical facilities who are in urgent need of blood supplies.”
One of the donors, Eugene Friel, a senior Political Affairs Officer, said: “It is important that we do all we can in this difficult time for all those affected, and a simple act of giving and a small amount of blood can go along to saving someone's life.”
Another donor, Captain Jennifer Barrientos, a UNIFIL peacekeeper from Guatemala, feels it’s important to support one another, especially during these critical times in Lebanon.
“As a UNIFIL peacekeeper, it is extremely important for me to take part in this urgent blood drive and help the Lebanese people during this critical time,” she said. “This is my contribution and my small but significant grain of sand because the victims of the explosion need different types of blood.”