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Macron to Host Fundraising Conference for Beirut as EU Conveys Solidarity

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French President Emmanuel Macron will host U.S. President Donald Trump and other political leaders on Sunday for a U.N.-endorsed donors conference by video to raise emergency relief for Lebanon following this weeks massive explosion in Beirut. U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed is co-organizer of the meeting.

Lebanon was already mired in deep political and economic crisis when the blast ripped through its main port on Tuesday, killing 158 people, injuring more than 6,000, and destroying a swathe of the city.

The cost of rebuilding Beirut could run into the billions. Economists forecast the blast could wipe up to 25 percent off of the countrys GDP.

Many Lebanese are angry at the governments response and say the disaster highlighted the negligence of a corrupt political elite. Protesters stormed government ministries in Beirut and trashed the offices of the Association of Lebanese Banks on Saturday.

Beirut Protest
Beirut Protest
A woman shouts at a member of the army during anti-government demonstrations in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 8, 2020. (Marwan Tahtah/Getty Images)
Beirut protest
Beirut protest
A soldier throws a stone during anti-government protests in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 8, 2020. (Marwan Tahtah/Getty Images)

Macron visited Beirut on Thursday, the first world leader to do so after the explosion, and promised the Lebanese people humanitarian aid would come but that profound political reform was needed to resolve the countrys problems and secure longer term support.

“I guarantee you, this (reconstruction) aid will not go to corrupt hands,” Macron told the throngs who greeted him.

France Macron Lebanon Beirut
France Macron Lebanon Beirut
French President Emmanuel Macron and Lebanons President Michel Aoun wear protective face masks as they meet following Tuesdays blast in Beiruts port area, at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon, on Aug. 6, 2020. (Mohamed Azakir/Reuters)

There has been an outpouring of sympathy for Lebanon from around the world this week and many countries have sent immediate humanitarian support such as a medical supplies.

Trump will participate in the video-link conference.

“Everyone wants to help!” he posted on Twitter.

…We will be having a conference call on Sunday with President Macron, leaders of Lebanon, and leaders from various other parts of the world. Everyone wants to help!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2020

Trump and Macron
Trump and Macron
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (R) shake hand at the end of a press conference following meetings at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on July 13, 2017. (Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images)

Germany will commit an additional 10 million euros ($11.79 million) in emergency aid on top of the rescue Read More – Source

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The Epoch Times

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