Macron Urges Quick, Effective Aid for Lebanon, Calls for Avoiding 'Violence, Chaos'


French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday called for speedy international backing for disaster-struck Lebanon and urged its leaders to prevent "chaos" as he opened an emergency aid conference following Beirut's deadly port blast.

Macron hosted U.S. President Donald Trump and other world leaders for the virtual conference to drum up aid for Lebanon, as the U.N. said some $117 million will be needed over the next three months for the emergency response.

"The objective today is to act quickly and effectively to coordinate our aid on the ground so that it goes as efficiently as possible to the Lebanese people," Macron told the conference also attended by President Michel Aoun, U.N. aid coordinator Mark Lowcock, representatives of the World Bank, the Red Cross, the IMF, the EU, the Arab League and several Middle Eastern leaders.

Macron was the first world leader to visit Beirut after Tuesday's devastating explosion which killed at least 158 people, wounded some 6,000 and left an estimated 300,000 homeless.

Lebanese people enraged by the official negligence blamed for the explosion have taken to the streets in anti-government protests that saw clashes with the army.

Macron said it was "up to the authorities of the country to act so that the country does not sink, and to respond to the aspirations that the Lebanese people are expressing right now, legitimately, in the streets of Beirut.

"We must all work together to ensure that neither violence nor chaos prevails," he added. "It is the future of Lebanon that is at stake."

Macron also warned that "those who have an interest in this division and chaos, it is the powers that would somehow want to put the Lebanese people at risk." He did not name names.

Macron added that the Lebanese people want a comprehensive probe into the catastrophic explosion.

- Millions of dollars needed -

The French president repeated his call for political and economic reforms, which he said "would allow the international community to act effectively side by side with Lebanon for the reconstruction."

Prime Minister Hassan Diab said Saturday that he would call for early elections.

An "emergency response framework" drafted by the United Nations said $66.3 million was needed for immediate humanitarian aid, including health services for the injured, emergency shelter for those whose homes were destroyed, food distribution and programs to "prevent further spread of COVID-19."

Phase II of the plan will require $50.6 million to rebuild public infrastructure, rehabilitate private homes and prevent disease outbreaks.

It said at least 15 medical facilities, including three major hospitals, sustained structural damage in the blast, and extensive damage to more than 120 schools may interrupt learning for some 55,000 children.

Thousands of people are in need of food and the blast interrupted basic water and sanitation to many neighborhoods.

Speaking in Beirut after his visit on Thursday, Macron said clear and transparent governance will be put in place to ensure all international aid "is directly chanelled to the people, to NGOs, to the teams in the field who need it, without any possible opacity or diversion."

- 'Everyone wants to help'-

Trump, confirming his attendance at the conference, tweeted Saturday that "everyone wants to help!"

Iran which wields huge influence in Lebanon through Hizbullah was not on the list of participants.

Key Arab states in the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq and the UAE were represented, as were Britain, China, Jordan and Egypt.

Macron, who hosted the conference from his summer residence on the Mediterranean, has said he would return to Lebanon on September 1 to check progress.

Comments 18
Missing levant 09 August 2020, 16:08

Aid is a new educated apolitical and patriotic government. Not warlords, uneducated ghoons, untraveled, unsophisticated backward mentalities.

Thumb Mystic 09 August 2020, 19:54

Tell that to des gilets jaunes

Thumb canadianleb 09 August 2020, 20:38

you mean not like Mystic....

Thumb lebnanfirst 09 August 2020, 22:42

Buddy, you missed the real mark by miles. It’s not about dogmatic ideologies nor is it about the excesses of some “nouveaux riche” idiots.
It’s about distributing assets fairly among a country’s population, building a solid middle class, like Lebanon had during the sixties.
You want a wali fakeeh, go live in Iran.

Thumb lebnanfirst 10 August 2020, 05:59

Where did I say anything even close to what you’re saying I said?
There’s nothing wrong at all with a capable individual leading with integrity.

The point was about Providing for equal distribution of wealth amongst most of the people of a country, in this case Lebanon.

Equal distribution of wealth is THE underpinning of any stable system.

Thumb tric.portugal 09 August 2020, 16:14

Macron visit to Lebanon was to destabilizated more Lebanon!!! when do not support the head of the cristhians in the lebanese political system...Macron is the Judas...

Thumb tric.portugal 09 August 2020, 16:35

the visit of Macron to Lebanon was to paralisate the lebanese government and turn Lebanon in a more chaos...Macron...

Thumb tric.portugal 09 August 2020, 16:38

the West are working with the Daesh to destroy the catholics political in Lebanon...facts are facts...after what is happenning to the cristhians in Iraque...the Islamic West atacking the Catholics in Lebanon!! destroy the only catholic nation in all arab nation...

Thumb tric.portugal 09 August 2020, 16:41

the new name of Macron is Macron of Meca...if the France of Macron burn the oldest catholics templs in France, imagine what Macron gonna do in like Trump, that have the military desire to destroy the catholics in Lebanon, if they want to do in Brasil in Lebanon do not be diferrent...

Thumb tric.portugal 09 August 2020, 16:47

the only propost that gonna came from West is for the Catholics losing political powers and the destrution of the only catholic nation in all arab world...the sheas are persecuted in the region, the jews are persecuted in region, the whaabism are persecuted in the region but only the cristhians are desapearing and be extreminated!!! amazing...the targuet is the catholics, and now Meca have a great alie to atack the cristhianity in Lebanon, the West...we can say clear that in sec. XXI the West persecuted the Catholics in the Mediterranic and promoted the Islamization

Thumb tric.portugal 09 August 2020, 16:59

Macron gonna ask money for retirate "2 million" of amoniun nitrate ( meca refugies) or the message gonna be that the amoniun nitrate can stay armazenated in Lebanon !!!???

Default-user-icon kazan (Guest) 09 August 2020, 17:02

The problem of Lebanon is clear and there is one solution.
Lebanon can be compared to a firebrigade department and all its officers are pyromaniac.

Default-user-icon hanna (Guest) 09 August 2020, 18:19

i thought some are idiots, then read this fool tric portugal.

Missing phillipo 09 August 2020, 19:20

Who is mad enough to give money to Lebanon when the whole world knows that a high portion of it goes either into the private pockets of the politicians or into the coffers of Nasrallah and his Hizballah terrorists.

Thumb tric.portugal 09 August 2020, 19:37

everybody knows that was a Daesh atack...Convert or Die...after what happens in Iraque and Syria...and the atack came from mediterranic sea...

Thumb tric.portugal 09 August 2020, 20:09

Calls for Avoiding 'Violence, Chaos'
Macron go to Lebanon promoting the violence and Chaos and now return to France and...Judas...

Default-user-icon joujou (Guest) 09 August 2020, 21:02

Tric portugal I think you need to improve your english.... what do you mean exactly?

Missing marspluto 09 August 2020, 21:41

Actually Mystic or Mistake the Gilet Jaunes have a lot of common with you. The yellow color (representing the Cuckolds) and the incivility, crap and filth in other words terrorists in sheep clothing.