On 4 August, French President Macron and the United Nations will hold a third international donor conference to raise funds for emergency aid for the Lebanese people. The video conference will take place exactly one year after the tragic explosion that ravaged the port of Beirut and caused a lot of casualties. The explosion came on top of institutional and socio-economic crises in Lebanon that have only worsened since then.
Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities Policy, Meryame Kitir, will represent Belgium at the video conference, which will focus on emergency aid for the population. Structural reforms and a recovery policy are hampered by the ongoing political impasse. First of all, the Minister wants to commemorate the victims of the disaster, they deserve justice. At the same time, the protracted crises in the country have an increasingly negative impact on the living conditions of both the Lebanese host population and refugees from neighbouring countries. According to the UN, 1.5 million people in Lebanon are unable to meet their basic needs, half the population lives in poverty. The World Food Programme reports that 49% of the Lebanese population is concerned about food security.
Belgium calls for the speedy formation of a government that would restore social, economic, monetary and fiscal stability in Lebanon.
Belgium remains committed to supporting the humanitarian efforts and challenges in Lebanon, especially contributing for the most vulnerable population groups in the country (EUR 10 million last year). In 2021, our country has already pledged EUR 4 million to a joint fund managed by OCHA for the Lebanese people.