By Yusuf Ozcan
PARIS (AA) - French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that the World Bank, the UN and the EU have decided to establish a humanitarian fund for the reconstruction of Lebanon.
Macron made the announcement during the second virtual aid conference organized by France and the UN since the disastrous Aug. 4 explosion that destroyed Beirut's port and wrecked large parts of the capital.
He said the pledged aid on Aug. 9 was fulfilled and that 280 million euros (US$339.4 million) had been collected.
Noting that 12,500 tons of flour were distributed to the Lebanese people and 73,000 people had received financial aid, Macron said around 30 hospitals were provided with medical equipment and 25,000 people were allocated a place to stay.
He pointed out that 20% of Lebanon’s population lives below the poverty line and that aid should continue.
Macron said that without the rapid establishment of a government in Lebanon to enable reforms, there would be no international help for the country. He added that he will pay a new visit to Lebanon this month.
The Aug. 4 blast came at a time when the country was reeling under a crippling economic crisis amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The explosion killed at least 192 people and injured more than 6,000.