LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Lebanon’s diaspora, estimated at nearly three times the size of the tiny country’s population of five million, has stepped up to provide assistance following the massive explosion that laid waste to the capital Beirut. Lebanese expats rushed to wire money to loved ones who lost their homes or were injured in the blast on Tuesday that killed at least 113 people, while others worked to create special funds to address the tragedy. “I’ve been on the phone all morning with … our partners in order to put together an alliance for an emergency fund in light of the explosion,” said George Akiki, co-founder and CEO of LebNet, a non-profit based in California’s Silicon Valley that helps Lebanese professionals in the United States and Canada. “Everyone, both Lebanese and non-Lebanese, wants to help.” Akiki said his group, along with other organizations such as SEAL and Life Lebanon, have set up Beirut Emergency Fund 2020, which will raise much-needed money and channel it to safe and reputable organizations in Lebanon. Many Lebanese expats, who almost all have loved ones or friends impacted by the disaster, are also helping individually or have started online fundraisers.