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Macron Urges World Leaders to Speed Aid to Lebanon After Explosions

2020-08-09 16:32:18

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron of France called on world leaders to fast-track financial and humanitarian aid to Lebanon on Sunday after explosions last week decimated parts of Beirut and left more than 150 people dead.

A day after furious demonstrations against the Lebanese government threatened to spill into chaos, over 30 international leaders and government officials agreed to accelerate support in a video conference organized by Mr. Macron and the United Nations.

“The objective today is to act quickly and effectively to coordinate our aid on the ground so that it goes as efficiently as possible to the Lebanese people,” Mr. Macron told those gathered for the video call, including President Trump, King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt as well as representatives of the World Bank, the Red Cross, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, China and the Arab League.

Michel Aoun, Lebanon’s president and a target of protests against the government’s handling of the crisis, also participated.

“Everyone wants to help!” Mr. Trump said Saturday on Twitter ahead of the conference call. He added that he had spoken with Mr. Aoun to inform him that the United States was sending three aircraft with medical assistance and other supplies.

Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said Sunday that Berlin would provide an additional 10 million euros, or about $11.8 million, in emergency aid, on top of the more than €1.2 billion in development aid it has given Lebanon since 2012.

Britain said Sunday that it would provide 20 million pounds (about $26 million) to help feed people in Lebanon through the World Food Program, on top of £5 million in financial assistance.

France, a former colonial power in the region, is sending 18 tons of medical aid, including medicines, vaccines and hygiene kits and 663 tons of food aid, the foreign ministry said.


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