U.S. Air Force members load humanitarian aid supplies, August 6-7, at al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar destined for Lebanon after a massive explosion devastated Beirut.
READ MORE: World leaders agreed Sunday to provide “major resources” to Lebanon to help it recover from last week’s massive explosion in Beirut but gave no figure of how much money they would send.
The leaders, meeting by teleconference at the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron, said the "assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people … and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency.”
The world powers insisted on transparency in how the aid is spent, wary of sending assistance to a government that many Lebanese view as corrupt and also voicing concern about the influence of Iran through the Shi’ite group Hezbollah.
Macron, who visited Beirut on Thursday, said at the opening of the video link that participating nations needed to put aside their differences to support the Lebanese people and that aid should be coordinated by the United Nations.
The world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, called for an impartial, credible and independent inquiry into the blast that killed at least 158 people and injured about 6,000 others. Some angry Lebanese have called for a revolt to overthrow their political leaders.
The White House said Trump “called for calm in Lebanon and acknowledged the legitimate calls of peaceful protesters for transparency, reform and accountability.”
Aside from the pledge of new assistance, the U.S, at Trump’s direction, has delivered emergency aid to Lebanon, starting with food, water and medical supplies. Initially it has pledged more than $17 million in disaster aid for the country. (AFP/VOA)