World pledges €250 million to Lebanon

World pledges €250 million to Lebanon

World leaders pledged more than €250 million for disaster-struck Lebanon, conference host France said, with the emergency aid to be delivered "directly" to a population reeling from the deadly port blast in Beirut.

Fifteen government leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump took part in the virtual conference hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and the UN, pledging solidarity with the Lebanese people and promising to muster “major resources” in the coming days and weeks.

A joint statement issued after the meeting in which representatives of nearly 30 countries as well as the EU and Arab League participated, did not mention a global amount.

But Macron’s office said the total figure of "emergency aid pledged or that can be mobilised quickly" amounts to €252.7 million, including €30 million from France.

Macron was the first world leader to visit the former French colony after Tuesday’s devastating explosion of a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate which killed more than 150 people, wounded some 6,000 and left an estimated 300,000 homeless.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told ZDF broadcaster that "more than 200 million euros of emergency aid have been collected," including 20 million euros from Germany.

The joint statement from the world leaders and their representatives underscored concerns about Lebanese government corruption.

"The participants agreed that their assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people, well-coordinated under the leadership of the United Nations, and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency," Euroactiv cited the statement as saying.

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