Australian – Lebanese model and entrepreneur Jessica Kahawaty has set up an online fundraiser with the help of her family to support struggling Lebanese amid the country’s growing shortage of fuel, medical supplies and food.
The 32 – year – old assured her 1 million Instagram followers that ‘every single dollar will be accounted for, and a timeline for using the funds will be provided as son as the fundraiser is closed’,
The fundraiser has raised over half of its $100,000 goal.
‘My name is Jessica Kahawaty and I, like many Lebanese expats, feel helpless watching my country and people drown in despair’, said the UNICEF ambassador in a statement.
‘As many of you know, Lebanon faces an immediate emergency to house, medicate and provide essential services for its 4 million inhabitants. Today, the country is at its lowest point with no access to bread, water or electricity’, she said.
‘I’ve been in touch with numerous people giving me live updates as households utilize one bucket of water among them. No one has gas in their cars as fuel is being withheld from civilians. Reports of people sleeping outside their homes for ventilation have circulated online as the world watches in horror.
‘Lebanon, a country that has once vibrant, is enduring a blackout both physically and emotionally. The hundreds of messages I received in the last few days from desperate youth speaking of suicide attempts, zero hope to achieve their dreams and the inability to support their sick or hungry parents have not only been devastating but a wave of anger hit me that there are free people out there responsible for creating a lost generation’.
Kahawaty said the money raised will be distributed among nonprofit organizations that she will personally vet, individual families and students.
Funds will also go toward providing food and clean water to needy families.
The charitable initiative has garnered support from Kahawaty’s friends and fans, who took to social media to share the fundraiser on their respective platforms.
Lebanese singer Dana Hourani, German blogger Xenia Van der Woodsen, Lebanese actor Nicolas Mouawad and Iraqi influencer Dima Al – Sheikly reposted the fundraiser onto their Instagram stories, urging hans to donate to those who need it most.