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Lebanon, Middle East

LEB03 - Support of Armenians in Lebanon

Partnership Ref.:




Funding Status:

Completed - No Funding Required

Partnership Type:


Funding Size:

$0 - $2,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 0

Connected To:



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Funding Contact:

No funding required


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Population: 5,851,000

Life Expectancy: 79 years

GDP: US$11,068 per capita

Unemployed: 24%

% earn less than US$2/day

Current Partnership Impact

6 families are being assisted

Partnership Overview

catastrophicOn 4th August 2020 a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, exploded, causing at least 207 deaths, 7,500 injuries, US$15 billion in property damage, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. A cargo of 2,750 tonnes of the substance (equivalent to around 1.1 kilotons of TNT) had been stored in a warehouse without proper safety measures for the previous six years after having been confiscated by the Lebanese authorities from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus. The explosion was preceded by a fire in the same warehouse but, as of April 2021, the exact cause of the detonation is still under investigation.

This is a very difficult situation. The Lebanese economy was in steep decline long before the blast and there were many people in need. Add to this the huge numbers of Syrian refugees in the country, political instability and the impact of COVID-19, the last thing they needed was another catastrophe. But that is exactly what they got. 

lost everything

People of Armenian descent have lived in Lebanon for centuries with a large influx after the genocide in Turkey in the early 20th Century. Around 4% of the Lebanese population is Armenian. 

Many Armenians live near to the port where the explosion occurred and their area was severely damaged. People lost homes, employment, business premises and about 13 lost their lives. Many more were injured. A number of Armenian families were repatriated back to Armenia by the government. Many of them were sent to the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and within weeks a full scale war broke out there with Azerbaijan.  

History of Partnership

BHW's New Partnership Facilitator was introduced to Harry Kiujian by another Australian contact early in 2013 and travelled with him in Armenia for almost a week. Following that trip the relationship continued to develop and in September 2014 the BHW Executive made a decision to commence partnering with ACM in their poverty reduction ministry in Vanadzor, Armenia (ARM01).  

A few months after the explosion in Lebanon and because of our longstanding relationship with Harry, he contacted BHW to see if we would be able to assist some families in Beirut whose lives had been shattered by the blast. 

Harry continues to be based in Australia but has close friends and contacts on the ground both in Armenia and Lebanon. The Armenian people are very close to each other and retain their identities even when living in other countries because of history or choice.  


no income nowThose we are assisting are families who are intending to remain in Lebanon and rebuild their lives. There are six families who will be supported with food parcels in the medium term. The recovery is going to be very slow as the economy continues to be very sluggish. An international finance analyst recently wrote, "Lebanon is in a death spiral. Today, inflation is soaring at 326.85%/yr, the streets are ablaze, and politicians are asleep at the wheel."

The families we are assisting all had reasonable lives and now they have nothing. This is a large part of this tragedy. Lebanon has no government. They steal all the savings from the personal bank accounts of the people. You might be living in a palace but have no money for one meal. These people had good lives in the past but today they have no money, no food, no work, no medical help, no money for rent and they do not know what the future will be like.

In addition to the six families being financially supported by BHW, ACM is also assisting a further 10 families from other resources.  

What We Like About The Partnership

We have a great partner who is advocating for these people.
There is a good person on the ground to assess and respond to the needs of the beneficiaries.
There are great needs among these people in the aftermath of the explosion. 


Key People

Hratsh (Harry) Kiujian (in Australia)

Harry is Armenian by origin, being born in Egypt, in a Christian home. He found Christ at the age of 14, the same year that the family migrated to Australia. He completed an apprenticeship in signs and engraving in 1972 and started his own business in 1975. He recently sold his business. 

From 1972-1996 Harry was a youth leader in his local church and has been a church elder since 1990. In 2005 he took up a position as pastor of the church. In 1998 Harry returned to Armenia for a visit and following that visit founded Armenian Christian Mission (ACM). The church in Australia encouraged him to keep the mission happening and the Lord has opened many doors to serve, preach and teach in Armenia since that time. ACM is the mission wing of the Armenian Evangelical Brethren Church Sydney and has a board of seven who meets quarterly in Sydney. Harry Kiujian is the Director, Matthew Manukian the Treasurer and Arminae Chichian the Secretary.

Harry is married and has three children. He is passionate about Armenia. He is a visionary and makes things happen.

Other People Involved

A Christian woman who is well known to ACM is in charge of identifying those in the most need and getting the help to them. She is very faithful and competent. 


devastatingVision And Annual Strategy

The vision is to care for these families while they are recovering from the blast to give them the opportunity to re-establish themselves. This funding is initially for 2-years and we will then reassess the situation with them. However, the political and economic circumstances are dire and far beyond the ability of individuals to affect. One hopes that these families will, by the end of 2-years, be able to stand on their own feet again.  

Annual Budget

The annual budget is US$7,920 per year, initially for two years.


Beneficiary Profiles

no income nowThe old lady cooking in the photo above lives with her invalid husband who is unable to work. She was being supported by the community but many of them have lost their incomes.  

The two sisters with their aged sick mum and dad are believers and have never married. They had a uniform manufacturing shop but there are no businesses functioning and no one is buying uniforms. They have no income and their house was damaged in the blast.  

In the photo to the right, the man is a carpenter who has been out of work for two years. The wife had a part-time job but that has finished and their house was damaged.