On the first anniversary of the massive explosion in the port of Beirut, the mourners demanded, with anger and tears, an explanation of its causes. “It’s a sad day for all Lebanese – even though we survived this massive explosion, we died inside,” said Rita Hassan, whose home was destroyed in the disaster. “Since yesterday I feel pain all over my body, as if my scars have opened again,” said Inam Kajal, who was seriously injured and had to sew more than 200 stitches. Relatives, doctors, nurses and protesters carrying national flags gather in the port and downtown Beirut.
August 4, 2020: Hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate were detonated at a warehouse in the port of Beirut. The explosion killed more than 200 people and destroyed entire neighborhoods in the Lebanese capital.
At a donor conference, the United States, France and Germany pledged millions of dollars in aid. On Wednesday, the government in Paris promised to provide 100 million euros to the Federal Republic, 40 million euros. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “A real and long-term improvement of the situation can only be achieved through the formation of a capable Lebanese government, aimed at implementing the reforms demanded by the population.”
The United States has pledged about $100 million (€84 million) in aid to Lebanon. US President Joe Biden also urged reforms, saying: “External support will never be enough if the Lebanese leadership does not commit to doing the serious but necessary work to reform the economy and fight corruption,” he said. French President Emmanuel Macron also criticized the video conference more sharply, saying: “It seems that Lebanese leaders are relying on a delaying strategy, which I am sorry and consider it a historical and moral mistake.”
Lebanese President Michel Aoun appealed for the solidarity of the international community. He said that Lebanon is currently going through the most difficult times, but stressed: “Today we are in a new phase,” expressing his hope that a new government will be formed soon to implement the necessary reforms. The head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, has also called for a government to revitalize the country’s faltering economy once again. At the same time, she promised the country’s reserves in the amount of 860 million dollars.
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