$370 million in aid
pledged by conference
Assistance to families and students, food and vaccines
The International Conference on Aid to Lebanon, called for by France on the first anniversary of the Beirut Port bombing, has raised around $370 million in pledges for urgent aid to confront the Lebanese socio-economic crisis, as requested by the United Nations.
France will contribute $118 million and the US $100 million.
French President Emmanuel Macron said that the crisis is caused by corruption and the disintegration of the political system. He said that the situation is rapidly deteriorating and the priority is to form a government.
Macron said that the Lebanese people can count on the international community. “We will provide aid in euros to support families, students, and the educational sector. We will double our food aid, we will send 500,000 vaccines against the coronavirus this August, and we will also contribute to the reconstruction of the Port of Beirut.”
“We will continue to work so that our assistance is directed directly to the people in a transparent manner,” he said.
“A Lebanese government must be formed to implement the year-old road map, with reforms to support Lebanon more, but no blank check will be written,” the French President said.
President Michel Aoun said: "Devastating repercussions are still being reflected on human, social, economic, health, and educational levels, exacerbating the crises that afflict our country. Lebanon is going through its most difficult times today, an unprecedented rate of poverty, a Covid-19 pandemic, a severe shortage of medicine, the heavy burden of the Syrian displacement, and the embargo imposed on us, deprive Lebanon of its vital needs. We can no longer wait for solutions to regional or major issues.”
“A complete restoration of the Port of Beirut is an urgent necessity,” he said.
Aoun said that the funds from the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights, expected in September, must be used carefully and in the best way to confront the collapse and start reforms.
The conference was held with the participation of President Michel Aoun, French President Emmanuel Macron, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, US President Joe Biden, in addition to the King of Jordan, the presidents of the European Council, Egypt, Iraq, and Greece, the Director-General of the IMF, the Director-General of WHO, and the Prime Minister of Canada. Germany, Britain, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, Cyprus, Finland, and Croatia were represented by their foreign ministers. China was present through a representative.
Gulf countries also participated at various levels: Kuwait through its Prime Minister, Qatar by its Foreign Minister, as well as representatives of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Arab League.
Date Posted: Aug 04, 2021