Aid flows in for devastated Beirut

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) listens to Lebanon president Michel Aoun (L on the screen) during a donor tele-conference concerning the situation in Lebanon with other world leaders, from Fort de Bregançon in southern France on August 9, 2020, after a huge blast rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut killing in excess of 150 people.
Christophe SIMON / POOL / AFP


PARIS, FRANCE (AFP) — Several countries have joined in international efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Lebanon after last week’s devastation of the Beirut port.

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

Following is a roundup of aid pledges, notably those announced Sunday during a remote donor conference hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron attended by nearly 30 countries as well as the EU and Arab League:

– The European Commission added another 30 million euros ($35.4 million) to the 33 million already announced. “As needs rise we are providing humanitarian support to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people,” commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarcic said in a statement.

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

On Sunday, the amphibious assault helicopter carrier Tonnerre left the French Mediterranean port of Toulon for Lebanon, stocked with human and material aid, including food and construction equipment.

– Qatar has flown in field hospitals and medical aid, and on Sunday its ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani pledged emergency aid of $50 million. He said funding towards “the reconstruction of Beirut” would be announced soon.

– Kuwait pledged some $40 million.

– US President Donald Trump, without stating a figure, said Washington “stands ready and willing to continue providing aid to help the people of Lebanon in their recovery”. The White House statement did not provide figures, but the government has announced $15 million so far.

– Britain on Sunday pledged 20 million pounds ($26 million) in addition to five million pounds already announced for emergency aid, notably through the British Red Cross. London has sent a medical team and humanitarian aid experts, and the Royal Navy ship the HMS Enterprise is reportedly on its way.

– Spain is to deliver medical materiel and equipment for the homeless in an army plane on Tuesday. It will donate 10 tonnes of wheat through the Olof Palme International Foundation.

– Other donors include Norway at 6.5 million euros, Denmark with around 20 million euros and Switzerland with 3.7 million euros). Nearby Cyprus has offered the use of its airport and ports, in addition to a pledge of five million euros.

Brazil pledged to fly medical materiel and medicines to Lebanon, and to send 4,000 tonnes of rice by sea.