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lebanon crisis

'Once the best in the Middle East,' Beirut hospital pleads for fuel as it faces shutdown

A once-famed Beirut hospital is now pleading for international aid to avoid running out of essential resources.

The American University of Beirut Medical Center in Beirut, Lebanon, is making an urgent appeal to the United Nations and its specialized agencies, the World Health Organization and the U.N. Children's Fund, to supply the hospital with fuel before it's forced to shut down by Monday.

Lebanon is mired in an economic and political crisis, and the nationwide fuel shortage is currently the most dire consequence. That's perhaps most clearly reflected in the plight of AUBMC, which said 40 adults and 15 children living on respirators would die immediately and many other patients will be at great risk if the shutdown is not avoided. The medical center said it's been rationing fuel and electricity for weeks, but is running out of both. 

Liz Sly, The Washington Post's Beirut bureau chief, notes that the American University hospital "was once the best" in the entire Middle East region; the announcement shows that the country is "truly heading to disaster," she writes.