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EU steps up aid for Lebanon – Commissioner Janez Lenarčič in Beirut

Janez Lenarčič inspecting the damage in the port of Beirut during his official visit to Lebanon. © European Union, 2020

Arriving on board of an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight to Beirut today, Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, has started an official visit to Lebanon. He will meet Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib and oversee EU aid efforts following the devastating explosions in the city.

This is the third flight to Lebanon under the EU’s Humanitarian Air Bridge. It delivers around 30 tonnes of essential aid, including ambulances, firefighting equipment, personal protective equipment, medicines and telecommunication equipment.

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “The Lebanese people have the EU’s full support. Many continue to suffer in the aftermath of the explosions and from the coronavirus pandemic. While we look towards recovery we must also get essential aid to those that have lost their homes and need emergency healthcare. There will need to be a concerted reconstruction effort, underpinned by decisive reforms – but for now, we are providing urgent help to those whose livelihoods were shattered by the explosion.”

The cargo of this latest flight was donated by the Portuguese Cooperation agency (Camões) and the German NGO Orienthelfer.

A total of 54 tonnes of humanitarian supplies, medicines and medical equipment have now been delivered to Lebanon on 3 humanitarian flights. The flights are organised and funded by the European Union.

Background

The devastating explosions in Beirut on 4 August put an additional strain on the Lebanese health system, which was already under heavy pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the immediate aftermath of the blasts, 20 European countries offered, through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, specialised search and rescue experts with rescue dogs and equipment, chemical assessment and medical teams as well as over 1,000 tonnes of medical equipment, medical supplies, shelter materials and food items.

Civil protection and humanitarian experts were deployed by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre to work with the local authorities and facilitate the coordination of EU response. The EU Copernicus emergency satellite mapping service was also activated.

During the international donor conference hosted by France on 9 August, the European Commission mobilised more than € 64 million for emergency needs, medical support and equipment, and protection of critical infrastructure.

These funds will also help address the most pressing humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable inhabitants of Beirut impacted by the devastating explosions.

Publication date
12/09/2020