Dollar for dollar: Alberta to match donations to Beirut relief fund

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Every dollar Albertans donate to help victims of the Beirut explosion will be matched by the province, up to a total of $500,000.

The Alberta government pledged a grant in that amount to the Canadian Red Cross earlier this week, joining Ontario, Nova Scotia and the federal government in the relief effort. More than 200 people were killed, including two Canadians, and thousands injured when an explosion blew out of a warehouse at the Lebanese capital’s main port on Aug. 4.

The blast, which is suspected to have been caused by improper storage of an explosive chemical, destroyed buildings and shattered windows kilometres away.

At least 300,000 residents have been displaced by the disaster.

Donations are required for humanitarian aid, such as shelter, food and water, and will also be used to rebuild hospitals, schools and other critical infrastructure.

Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard said in a news release the government hopes the grant will encourage donations.

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