Creating new perspectives since 2009

International community rallies to help Lebanon

August 6, 2020 at 1:32 pm

Damage to buildings after a fire at a warehouse with explosives at the Port of Beirut led to massive blast in Beirut, Lebanon on 5 August 2020 [Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]

The international community has rushed to deliver aid to Lebanon in the wake of the explosions which rocked the capital Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 137 and injuring thousands more.

Norway, Hungary, France, Australia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Qatar and even Israel, among others, have offered a variety of aid to Lebanon in hopes of helping the country recover.

The UK has also pledged to “stand by the Lebanese people in their time of need”, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Dominic Raab, said yesterday, pledging a £5 million ($6.6 million) aid package. Raab said the package was “ready to go”, adding that medical experts, search and rescue teams and a Royal Navy ship – the HMS Enterprise – would assist with the relief efforts if required, according to a BBC report.

Australia has pledged at least two million Australian dollars ($0.8 million) towards the initial relief effort for the city. The aid will be sent directly to the World Food Program and the Red Cross for distribution in Lebanon, according to the Associated Press (AP).

READ: Turkey sends rescue and healthcare teams to Beirut 

Both Russia and Germany have sent specialist relief teams to aid in the search for survivors. While, Lebanon has also received four field hospitals from Qatar, Iran and Jordan, as well a coronavirus testing lab and protective gear from Russia, along with 50 emergency workers and medical personnel.

The United Nations (UN) has also said it will step up its emergency assistance to Lebanon, while the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was airlifting supplies to Beirut.

Meanwhile, France’s President Emmanuel Macron has become the first foreign leader to visit Beirut in the wake of the blasts today, along with French civil security personnel who are set to help search for survivors in the rubble.

Lebanon is one long tale of disaster and crisis - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Lebanon is one long tale of disaster and crisis – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Macron, who was greeted at the airport by Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, is set to meet with Lebanese political leaders to show solidarity with the country after Tuesday’s explosions and push for reforms.

Speaking after arriving in Beirut, Macron said: “Lebanon is facing political and economic crisis and an urgent response to this is required… if reforms are not made, Lebanon will continue to suffer.”  He took to Twitter to send a message in Arabic: “Lebanon is not alone.”

It’s not just foreign governments that have offered aid to Lebanon, however. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as well as Palestinian and Syrian refugees living in Lebanon have joined a blood donation drive to help supply Beirut’s hospitals.

READ: Lebanese search for missing online, open homes to needy after massive blast