UN Chief Guterres said world aid will continue flowing to Lebanon

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“I want to express my total solidarity with the people of Lebanon in the aftermath of the horrific explosion that destroyed the port of Beirut and part of the city last Tuesday,” Guterres said.

by TK Maloy -Source: Annahar

One of Beirut’s many damaged streets resulting from a massive explosion at the Port. (Annahar/Chiri Choukeir)

BEIRUT: In a call to action Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the UN and world stand in “ total solidarity” with Lebanon, announced plans for continuing large packages of aid, and praised the strength of the Lebanese people.

“I want to express my total solidarity with the people of Lebanon in the aftermath of the horrific explosion that destroyed the port of Beirut and part of the city last Tuesday,” Guterres said.

Adding, “The blast was truly shocking. In an instant, it flattened vital infrastructure and shattered windows near and far. Surrounding neighborhoods were leveled. ..The shock waves were felt across the city – and indeed across the Mediterranean. The economic, social, and other reverberations will be felt for some time to come.”

The UN chief noted that the global agency has undertaken a swift and wide-ranging response.

Including:

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs helped to organize the deployment of experts from the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group and the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination system to help first responders in Beirut.

A plane carrying 20 tons of World Health Organization health supplies landed in Beirut on Wednesday to cover 1,000 trauma interventions and 1,000 surgical interventions for people suffering from injuries and burns as a result of the blast.

Within hours of the blast, the Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon released US$9 million from the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund to address immediate needs.

On Friday, the Emergency Relief Coordinator released a further US$6 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund.

The United Nations is supporting the Lebanese Red Cross and other partners in providing temporary shelter for displaced families.

The World Food Programme is importing wheat flour and grains for bakeries and mills to help protect against food shortages across the country given that the Port had housed Lebanon’s only major grain silo.

Guterres added that the UN will continue to support Lebanon in every possible way through this emergency…..The legendary strength of the Lebanese people now faces (an ongoing) test. In the past few days, we have seen that spirit yet again – neighbors helping neighbors, people clearing their streets of broken glass and opening their homes to those who have lost theirs.“

The UN Secretary-General called I call for robust international support, noting the many countries that are already providing tangible financial, material, and specialized assistance.

“At this time of both sorrow and prolonged frustration, the anger of the Lebanese people is palpable. Their voices must be heard,” Guterres said. “It is also important that reforms be implemented so as to address the needs of the Lebanese people for the longer term.”

He said the world should build on the initiative of President Macron of France, with whom the United Nations yesterday (Sunday) co-convened the International Conference on support to Lebanon.

“The catastrophe is huge. The sense of loss and even disbelief is profound, “ Guterres said. “But Lebanon is resilient. Lebanon has an immense spirit and will.”

On Monday the Lebanese government effectively collapsed with The resignation of the remaining members of the Cabinet and Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

 

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