Lebanon Businessnews News
 

$300 million committed
at international donor conference
Funds to be managed by the United Nations
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An emergency donor video-conference has raised pledges worth nearly €253 million ($300 million) for immediate humanitarian relief.

The international response will be coordinated by the United Nations.

The “assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people ... and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency,” stated the final communiqué of the conference.

The conference, attended by 36 countries and international organizations, was hosted by France. It was chaired by President Emmanuel Macron and attended by US President Donald Trump.

Trump said that the United States was ready to continue providing aid to help the Lebanese. “The President called for calm in Lebanon and acknowledged the legitimate calls of peaceful protesters for transparency, reform and accountability,” a White House statement said.

These commitments will not be conditional on political or institutional reform, Macron’s office said. There were also pledges made for longer-term support that will depend on changes brought in by the authorities, the Elysée Palace said.

World powers promised not to fail the Lebanese people as Beirut recovers. “Our role is to be by their side,” Macron said. He urged participating nations to put aside their differences and support the Lebanese people. Countries demanded transparency over how the aid is used, wary of writing blank checks to a government viewed as corrupt. Some are concerned about the influence of Iran through Hezbollah.

The offer of assistance included support for an impartial, credible and independent inquiry into the blast. Up to Sunday’s conference there had been an array of offers of immediate humanitarian support such as rescue teams and medical supplies.

The conference’s communiqué said Lebanon’s partners were ready to support the country’s longer-term economic recovery if leaders commit fully to the changes expected by the Lebanese.

PLEDGES BY COUNTRIES

EU: €33 million and a possibility of an additional €30 million
Qatar: $50 million
Kuwait $41 million
France: €30 million
UK: £20 million
Denmark: $24 million
Germany: €20 million
Italy: €9 million
Norway: €7 million
Belgium: €6 million
Cyprus: €5 million
Canada: $5 million
Australia: $5 million
Switzerland: CHF4 million
Netherlands: $3 million
Brazil: in-kind

Amounts include cash donations, in-kind donations, and funds previously earmarked for Lebanon.

CONFERENCE ATTENDEES

Besides Macron, Trump and President Michel Aoun, the conference was attended by:
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of Sweden, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece, Emir Tamim bin Hamad of Qatar, Prime Minister Sabah Al Hamad Al Khaled Al Sabah of Kuwait, Prime Minister Mustafa Kazimi of Iraq, as well as foreign ministers of Germany, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and Norway and ministers from the UK, the Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland and the UAE, and representatives from the United Nations, China, Japan, the World Bank, the Red Cross, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction (EBRD), and the Arab League.
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Date Posted: Aug 10, 2020