On Wednesday, the European Union (EU) allocated additional financial aid to Lebanon, worth €100 million, to help the country address the repercussions of the huge explosion at Beirut port and meet its population’s needs.
In a statement, the EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, said that the EU acted quickly to support the Lebanese people affected by the blast, adding that they still strongly feel the consequences of the explosion, that came in addition to political and socio-economic crisis as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our significant additional funds will focus on a recovery for the people, including access to basic services and social protection. This effort is not provided in a vacuum,” he noted.
Várhelyi pointed out that €34 million out of the total funding will be reoriented to improve governance and accountability, continue assisting civil society, and restore access to jobs and economic opportunities. It will also support restoring and improving basic services and physical infrastructure damaged by the explosion in the context of implementing the Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework (3RF) in Lebanon.
In addition, €64.5 million in new funding channelled via the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis will support the most vulnerable Lebanese and refugee communities affected by the explosion, including in health, social assistance and support to micro and small enterprises.
This support was advanced by the High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell, and by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, at the Conference in Support of the Lebanese People convened by France and the United Nations that took place on 2 December.