Lebanese police fired tear gas to try to disperse stone-throwing protesters blocking a street near Parliament in Beirut on Sunday on a second day of anti-government demonstrations triggered by last week’s devastating blast.
International leaders attended a virtual donor conference led by France and the United Nations in the aftermath of the devastating explosion at the port of Beirut, pledging nearly $ 300 million in humanitarian assistance that will be “delivered directly to the Lebanese population.”
- US President Donald Trump has announced that the US will give “substantial”
The International Monetary Fund said it was willing to redouble its efforts to help Lebanon after the devastating explosion that hit Beirut, but said all the country’s institutions must show a willingness to push forward with reforms.
- Lebanese information minister Manal Abdel Samad announced his resignation, saying Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government has not lived up to people’s aspirations. The Minister of the Environment Damianos Kattar also resigned shortly after.
- At least 158 people were killed in Tuesday’s blast and more than 6,000 others were injured.
Here are the latest updates:
Monday 10th August
04:20 GMT – Nine Lebanese parliamentarians, two ministers resign from the government
Nine members of parliament and two ministers have so far resigned from their posts in Lebanon, according to an Al Jazeera tally.
Manal Abdel Samad, the information minister, and Damianos Kattar, the environment minister, resigned from their posts on Sunday, as the government comes under intense pressure following the deadly explosion in Beirut on Tuesday.
Manal Abdel Samad, information
Damianos Kattar, Environment
– Saad (@SaadAbedine) August 9, 2020
04:04 GMT – The Beirut explosion creates a 43 meter deep crater
Massive explosions that hit Lebanon’s capital Beirut on Tuesday, killing 158, left a 43-meter-deep crater at the site, according to local reports.
The explosions in Beirut’s port also injured over 6,000 people, destroyed a large granary and devastated about half of the city’s buildings. The huge crater is located near the destroyed granary, filled with sea water.
02:15 GMT – Trump swears “substantial” aid to Lebanon
US President Donald Trump has promised that his administration will give “substantial” aid to Lebanon, although he has not provided details.
“On a humanitarian basis, we have to do it. We have to do it. You know, you can almost tell how a country survives such a tragedy? This was at a level where the people over there, they said, are at a level that we have never seen. before “.
An emergency donor conference on Sunday raised pledges worth nearly 253 million euros ($ 298 million) for immediate humanitarian aid.
02:05 GMT – Beirut governor says many bodies still unidentified from the harbor explosion
Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud said several foreign workers and truck drivers remain missing after the massive blast and are presumed to have died.
In an interview with Al Jadeed TV station, Abboud added that many of the blast victims have not yet been identified and that it may take some time to complete identification of the remains.
According to reports, about 45 of the more than 158 confirmed people killed in the blast were Syrian citizens, who worked in the service sector in the country.
Sunday 9th August
20:37 GMT – IMF chief renews call for reforms
Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the International Monetary Fund, once again warned Lebanon that it would not get any loans from the institution if it did not reform its government.
“Current and future generations of Lebanese must not be burdened with more debt than they can ever repay,” he said at the constitution conference.
That is why he said the IMF requires “debt sustainability as a condition for the loan”, adding that “the financial system must also be solvent”.
19:32 GMT – Environment Minister resigns
Environment Minister Damianos Kattar said in a statement that he would step down, becoming the second minister to step down due to the explosion.
“In light of the huge catastrophe … I have decided to resign from the government,” Kattar said, adding that he had lost hope in a “sterile regime that has failed several opportunities”.
19:21 GMT – Will the explosion cause a humanitarian disaster?
Lebanon was in a terrible state even before the huge explosion that destroyed much of Beirut.
The government is bankrupt, the currency is nearly worthless and millions of Lebanese are out of work. The blast made matters worse by destroying the main port for a nation heavily dependent on food imports.
Some 300,000 people left homeless in Beirut received little government aid. Lebanon is also home to 1.5 million Syrian refugees.
How will humanitarian organizations face the challenge?
Find out more here or watch Inside Story below.
18:14 GM – Aid summit raises $ 300 million to give “directly” to people
Numerous nations pledged nearly $ 300 million in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon at a conference aimed at garnering international support for the crisis-hit country.
The monies will be routed through the United Nations, international organizations and NGOs rather than the Lebanese government, in line with the demands of large swaths of the Lebanese public who fear that funds will be lost to corruption.
Read more here.
16:07 GMT – Protesters throw stones at police on the second day of protests
Protesters threw stones at security forces blocking a road near the Lebanese parliament on a second day of anti-government protests.
The Reuters news agency reported that hundreds of people were converging on a main square where on Saturday thousands of Lebanese protested against a political elite they blame for the country’s economic and political problems.
“We want to destroy and kill the government. They gave us no jobs or rights,” said Nissan Ghrawi, a 19-year-old unemployed protester.
On Saturday, more than 700 protesters were injured in clashes with riot police who used tear gas and live bullets in an attempt to disperse the crowd.