The Red Cross, the Secours populaire, l’Oeuvre d’Orient… all are mobilizing at the bedside of Lebanon, after the violent explosions which left at least 137 dead and 5,000 wounded. The French Development Agency (AFD) announced on Thursday that it is committed to doubling donations to the Fondation de France to help the inhabitants of Beirut.
“Each donation made to the Fondation de France pour Solidarité Liban will be doubled by AFD. The objective: to increase the impact of the generosity of donors through useful and effective actions on the spot ”, within the limit of one million euros, specifies a joint press release.
“The funds will be used by local actors, already at work in the field, to primarily support social and psychosocial actions, local economic recovery and housing,” the text continues.
Several NGOs or associations like the Red Cross or the Secours populaire launched appeals for donations in the wake of the tragedy that struck the Lebanese capital. In parallel with its appeal, the Secours populaire released an initial fund of 100,000 euros.
Organizations for the defense of Eastern Christians in France have also mobilized, such as the Work of the East, who launched “a call for generosity” to restore hospitals and clinics or rehabilitate Christian schools.
The NGO SOS Chrétiens d’Orient, for its part, announced “to be associated with emergency operations” and to provide financial support to the La Quarantaine hospital, “in order to help with the restoration and purchase of urgently ”.
“Organize international aid”
Visiting this Thursday in Beirut, Emmanuel Macron expressed his desire to “organize international aid”. He promised the angry Lebanese that he would return on September 1 to verify that the aid offered by France is well distributed. Everything will be done so that it “does not go into the hands of corruption”, he insisted.
France dispatched first emergency aid on Wednesday: a plane took off from Marseille with equipment, as well as a medical team of nine people. Two other aircraft followed from Paris, with civil security personnel and several tonnes of equipment on board.
Up to 300,000 people are believed to be homeless as a result of this disaster. The governor of Beirut estimated the damage, which he said affected more than half of the capital, at more than three billion dollars.
This disaster strikes a country already on the ground. Since spring, half of the Lebanese population has lived below the poverty line. The most vulnerable “risk dying of hunger because of this crisis,” Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said a month ago. More than half a million children in Beirut are fighting for their survival in a country in the midst of economic collapse, lamented the NGO Save the Children on July 29.