BEIRUT / UN4BEIRUT INITIATIVE

11-Aug-2020 00:02:33
United Nations Staff Unions in Lebanon have collectively launched UN4Beirut initiative to show solidarity and provide support to the people of Lebanon by cleaning the streets of Beirut devastated by the explosion. UNIFIL
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STORY: BEIRUT / UN4BEIRUT INITIATIVE
TRT: 2:33
SOURCE: UNIFIL
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 8-9 AUGUST 2020, BEIRUT, LEBANON
SHOTLIST
1. Various shots, UN staff gathering together
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Nazih Yacoub, Regional Chair of Staff Association, UNICEF:
"We are here, all one UN, one family, one team to help in cleaning the city, the city that we all love, the city that we all work and we love the city and this is the minimum that we could give for Lebanon and the people of Lebanon."
3. Pan left, UN staff walking and carrying cleaning supplies
4. Various shots, destroyed buildings and rubble
5. Med shot, UN staff clearing rubble
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Lamis Daoud, External Relations Associate, UNHCR:
“We've seen a lot of damage today, a lot of destruction. It's surreal to see everyone’s…different people's lives just thrown apart into the streets.”
7. Pan left, UN staff carrying out debris
8. Wide shot, destroyed building
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Haidar Fahs, Public Information Officer, UNIFIL:
"Being a Lebanese that used to come to this area. Saw the amount of damage and destruction that the explosion did, was really, truly emotional to me. Like, you sometimes it would make me cry because I used to hang out in these streets, go out in these streets, you know, the amount of houses destroyed, the historical meaning of places destroyed. It gives you a sensation reminding me of the wars that passed on Lebanon. But it always gave me hope that when I saw the people on the ground working with each other, helping each other, that we are going to come back stronger and better than before."
10. Med shot, destroyed car under rubble
11. Pan left, UN staff walking with cleaning supplies
12. Wide shot, building with “we are staying” banner
13. Med shot, “we are staying” banner on a building
STORYLINE
United Nations Staff Unions in Lebanon have collectively launched UN4Beirut initiative to show solidarity and provide support to the people of Lebanon by cleaning the streets of Beirut devastated by the explosion.

Under the motto UN4Beirut, the UN staff in Lebanon were all mobilized to respond to Beirut's humanitarian crisis and together with hundreds other volunteers, the UN staff contributed to cleaning streets.

SOUNDBITE (English) Nazih Yacoub, Regional Chair of Staff Association, UNICEF:
"We are here, all one UN, one family, one team to help in cleaning the city, the city that we all love, the city that we all work and we love the city and this is the minimum that we could give for Lebanon and the people of Lebanon."

Wearing hats, masks and gloves and carrying shovels, buckets and burlap bags, UN staff members from the various agencies and working across the country, began to put the staff unions’ #UN4Beirut initiative into action, to clean up glass, debris and rubble from the bomb-stricken streets and help vulnerable residents clear their damaged houses.

Most staffers were joined by family members and friends. Even some young children took part. Devastated by the tragic explosion that ripped through Beirut Port on 4 August, reportedly killing more than 200 and wounding 6,000, hundreds of thousands were also rendered homeless.

SOUNDBITE (English) Lamis Daoud, External Relations Associate, UNHCR:
“We've seen a lot of damage today, a lot of destruction. It's surreal to see everyone’s…different people's lives just thrown apart into the streets.”

Staff members divided themselves into groups and took to the streets covering three major areas within Beirut, that were badly destroyed by the blast.

UN4Beirut, a staff unions’ initiative was launched as a demonstration of empathy and solidarity. An overwhelming participation of youth took part in it, standing shoulder to shoulder to assist hundreds of citizens in community relief work.

Throughout its history, the city of Beirut has been destroyed and rebuilt seven times. While still mourning the dead and those still missing, Lebanese citizens are determined to rebuild their shattered homes and businesses with the hope of bringing their city back to its former self.

SOUNDBITE (English) Haidar Fahs, Public Information Officer, UNIFIL:
"Being a Lebanese that used to come to this area. Saw the amount of damage and destruction that the explosion did, was really, truly emotional to me. Like, you sometimes it would make me cry because I used to hang out in these streets, go out in these streets, you know, the amount of houses destroyed, the historical meaning of places destroyed. It gives you a sensation reminding me of the wars that passed on Lebanon. But it always gave me hope that when I saw the people on the ground working with each other, helping each other, that we are going to come back stronger and better than before."

UN staff across the world have also stood shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with their Lebanese colleagues. The UN Staff Unions in New York, Nairobi and Vienna, as well as the Staff Associations of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), have raised funds so far from workers to support the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and UNIFIL (the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), both headquartered in Beirut.
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