The European Union announced on Thursday that it had released 33 million euros to finance initial emergency aid for Lebanon and mobilized material resources, including an Italian hospital ship, to help relief efforts in Beirut, devastated Tuesday by two explosions.
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A donor conference is also planned to mobilize additional funding for reconstruction after a needs assessment, said a European source. The release of the 33 million should make it possible to cover the immediate needs of the emergency services and hospitals in the capital, said the European Commission. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Thursday to talk about European Union assistance.
"Intensify their support for Lebanon"
In a letter to the 27 EU members released on Thursday evening, she and Charles Michel (President of the European Council) called on member states to “step up their support for Lebanon” both “for its immediate needs, but also to longer for the reconstruction of the country ” . In order to enable 'rapid and effective aid , we stand ready to ensure the synergy of the aid that you and the EU as a whole will provide to Lebanon, through a coordination mechanism that the EU institutions will put in place. " , Underline the two officials. They recall "the strong partnership between the EU and Lebanon, a strategically important country which hosts the largest number of refugees per capita", stressing "the common interest in acting now to limit the consequences of the tragedy" .
European countries quickly mobilized. Italy has provided a military vessel with medical evacuation capability by helicopter and medical equipment. They also mobilized 250 firefighters specializing in search and rescue, we learned from a European source.