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EU pledges further EUR 30m to support Lebanon

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EU pledges further EUR 30m to support Lebanon

Charles Michel - Beirut - Photo © European Union 2020

(ONLINE) At Monday's international conference on aid for Lebanon, the EU Commission pledged new funding worth EUR 30m to help address the immediate needs of those affected by the deadly explosion in Beirut.

The money is in addition to EUR 33 million already announced by Commission president von der Leyen in a phone call Thursday with the Lebanese President.

"The EU has been helping Lebanon since immediately after the explosion, mobilising hundreds of search and rescue experts and sending medical aid to Beirut," said the Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic at the conference: "As needs rise we are providing humanitarian support to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people. In these critical hours, the EU is providing shelter, emergency healthcare, water and sanitation, and food assistance. We are committed to stand by the people of Lebanon today and in the long term to help them recover."

The new EU humanitarian funding will be channelled to UN agencies, NGOs and international organisations and be strictly monitored. This assistance will benefit hundreds of thousands of the most affected people to cover essential needs.

EU Council president Charles Michel visited the port of Beirut on Sunday, conveying the condolences of Europe to the victims and their families and "to express our solidarity with the people in Lebanon". He said there was a need for trust and a need to know the truth: "Confidence is key: confidence of the people in their authorities and confidence of the international community in the real implementation of reforms in Lebanon. We will be by the side of the people in Lebanon in the longer-term reconstruction efforts too, for the benefit of the country, for the benefit of the people."

The new funding comes on top of ongoing EU emergency operations, which include 300 highly trained experts from the EU and Member States deployed through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, including search and rescue, chemical assessment and medical teams; in-kind assistance consisting of urgently medical equipment and supplies, chemical protection suits; a military vessel with helicopter capacity for medical evacuation, and medical and protective equipment; and activation of the Copernicus Satellite mapping system to help assess the extent of the damage.

The EU is a leading supporter of Lebanon, providing over EUR 2.3 billion of assistance since 2011, including over EUR 660 million in humanitarian aid.

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