Donors Pledge Over 250 Million Euros To Aid Blast-Hit Lebanon: France.

World Donors Pledge Over 250 Million Euros To Aid Blast-Hit Lebanon: France

The total figure of "emergency aid pledged" amounts to 252.7 million, Emmanuel Macron said

Paris:

World leaders on Sunday pledged more than 250 million euros for disaster-struck Lebanon, conference host France said, with the emergency aid to be delivered "directly" to a population reeling from the deadly port blast in Beirut.

Fifteen government leaders including US President Donald Trump took part in the virtual conference hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and the UN, pledging solidarity with the Lebanese people and promising to muster "major resources" in the coming days and weeks.

A joint statement issued after the meeting in which representatives of nearly 30 countries as well as the EU and Arab League participated, did not mention a global amount.

But Macron's office said the total figure of "emergency aid pledged or that can be mobilised quickly" amounts to 252.7 million euros ($298 millon), including 30 million euros from France.

Macron was the first world leader to visit the former French colony after Tuesday's devastating explosion of a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate which killed more than 150 people, wounded some 6,000 and left an estimated 300,000 homeless.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told ZDF broadcaster that "more than 200 million euros of emergency aid have been collected," including 20 million euros from Germany.

"Utmost efficiency and transparency"

The joint statement from the world leaders and their representatives underscored concerns about Lebanese government corruption.

"The participants agreed that their assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people, well-coordinated under the leadership of the United Nations, and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency," it said.

USAID acting administrator John Barsa also said in a conference call Sunday that American help, some $15 million announced so far, "is absolutely not going to the government."

The donor nations urged Lebanon's authorities to "fully commit themselves to timely measures and reforms" in order to unlock longer-term support for the country's economic and financial recovery.

And they said assistance for "an impartial, credible and independent inquiry" into Tuesday's explosion "is immediately needed and available, upon request of Lebanon."

The UN said some $117 million will be needed for an emergency response over the next three months, for health services, emergency shelter, food distribution and programmes to prevent further spread of COVID-19, among other interventions.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who was also on Sunday's group call, thanked Macron for the initiative.

"Much is needed to rebuild what has been destroyed and to restore Beirut's lustre," the Lebanese presidency quoted him on Twitter as saying.

"The needs are many and we need to address them quickly, especially before the arrival of winter, which will accentuate the suffering of homeless citizens."

Calls for calm

At least 21 people are still missing from the huge blast, and the Lebanese army said Sunday hopes of finding survivors are dwindling.

Lebanese people enraged by official negligence blamed for the explosion have taken to the streets in anti-government protests that have resulted in clashes with the army.

Macron said it was now up to the authorities of Lebanon "to act so that the country does not sink, and to respond to the aspirations that the Lebanese people are expressing right now, legitimately, in the streets of Beirut."

"We must all work together to ensure that neither violence nor chaos prevails," he added. "It is the future of Lebanon that is at stake."

Trump also called for calm, according to the White House, which said he agreed with other leaders on the group call to "work closely together in international response efforts."

"President Trump also urged the government of Lebanon to conduct a full and transparent investigation, in which the United States stands ready to assist," it said.

"The President called for calm in Lebanon and acknowledged the legitimate calls of peaceful protestors for transparency, reform, and accountability."

"Generous help"

Apart from heads of state and government ministers, Sunday's conference was attended by UN aid coordinator Mark Lowcock, representatives of the World Bank, the Red Cross, the IMF, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Israel, with whom Lebanon has no diplomatic relations, did not participate, though Macron said it had expressed a wish to contribute, nor did Iran which wields huge influence in Lebanon through the Shiite group Hezbollah.

Key Arab states in the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq and the UAE were represented, as were Britain, China, Jordan and Egypt.

Macron said Turkey, with which France's diplomatic ties have been icy over the Libyan conflict, and Russia had indicated their support for the initiative, though they did not take part in the conference.

According to the UN, at least 15 medical facilities, including three major hospitals, sustained structural damage in the blast, and extensive damage to more than 120 schools may interrupt learning for some 55,000 children.

Thousands of people are in need of food and the blast interrupted basic water and sanitation to many neighbourhoods.

Pope Francis called Sunday appealed for "generous help" from the international community.

France has been sending tonnes of medical and food aid, dozens of search and rescue personnel and forensic experts to aid the investigation, as well as reconstruction materials.

On top of cash aid pledged so far, Egypt and Qatar have promised field hospitals, Brazil said it would send 4,000 tonnes of rice, and Spain 10 tonnes of wheat.

"In these horrendous times, Lebanon is not alone," concluded the conference statement.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Comments

Related news

U.S. to sanction more than 2 dozen targets involved with Iran arms: official

The new sanctions fit into U.S. President Donald Trump's effort to limit Iran's regional influence and come a week after U.S.-brokered deals for the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize ties with Israel.

1 7

Tens Of Thousands Defy Police Crackdown To Protest In Belarus.

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters marched in the Belarusian capital of Minsk Sunday, defying a heavy security force presence that included water cannons and armoured vehicles.

Trump's Supreme Court Move «Exercise In Raw Political Power» : Joe Biden.

US presidential hopeful Joe Biden urged Senate lawmakers on Sunday to not vote on filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death until after the election in November.

Democrats raise $91M after death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The online fundraising organization ActBlue said grassroots donors gave US$91.4 million to Democratic candidates and causes in the 28 hours after 8 p.m. Friday, around the time the news of Ginsburg's death broke.

2 8560

Judge Halts WeChat Download Ban In US-China Tech Battle.

A US judge on Sunday blocked the government's ban on WeChat downloads, hours before it was due to take effect in an ongoing technology and espionage battle between Washington and Beijing.

‘Wonderful’: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s final summer was spent with family, friends and the opera.

Ginsburg announced in mid-July that she was receiving chemotherapy treatments, the fifth time she had dealt with cancer since 1999.

Amal Clooney Quits UK Envoy Post Over Brexit Bill

Prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney on Friday resigned her post as a UK envoy for media freedom, in protest at the government's "lamentable" decision to breach its EU divorce treaty.

Singh says NDP focused on getting ‘help for Canadians,’ not forcing an election.

In an interview with The West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson, Singh said he has laid out his concerns and demands for the new Parliamentary session during a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

1 2

Daniel Prude death: New York AG promises to expedite release of police body cam footage.

Speaking in Rochester, which has been in turmoil since the footage of Daniel Prude's fatal encounter with police was released more than five months after his death, James said her office "will be proactively releasing footage to the public on our ...

Russian jets bomb rebel-held Syria in heaviest strikes since ceasefire six months ago.

Witnesses said the warplanes struck the western outskirts of Idlib city and that there was heavy artillery shelling in the mountainous Jabal al Zawya region in southern Idlib from nearby Syrian army outposts.

By continuing to browse World News (UAZMI), you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and agree to the use of cookies