International Conference on Assistance and Support to Beirut and the Lebanese People
Statement made by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs (August 10, 2020)
France has learned of the resignation of the Lebanese government. It fully appreciates the gravity of the situation in which Lebanon finds itself and the need to respond swiftly to the expectations of its people.
Beyond the emergency caused by the explosion of August 4, following which France and the UN convened Lebanon’s international partners at the initiative of President Macron, it is now crucial that the aspirations expressed by the Lebanese on reforms and governance be heard.
With that in mind, priority must be given to the swift formation of a government that proves its effectiveness and whose mission is to meet the main challenges facing the country, especially the rebuilding of Beirut and the reforms without which the country is heading toward an economic, social and political collapse. At this difficult point in its history, France stands with Lebanon, as it always has.
International Conference on Assistance and Support to Beirut and the Lebanese People - Chair’s conclusions (Fort de Brégançon, 09 Aug. 2020)
Convened in immediate response to and support in the aftermath of the August 4th explosion in Beirut, the “International conference on support to Beirut and the Lebanese people” met virtually on August 9th at the invitation of the President of the French Republic and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
This emergency Conference gathered Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as well as the League of Arab States, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank (WB).
The Beirut explosion on August 4th, which struck the city in its very heart, was a shock to all of Lebanon’s people, friends and partners abroad. The participants to today’s Conference stood in solidarity with Lebanon. They extended their most heartfelt condolences to the residents of Beirut, many of whom have lost family members and colleagues and friends. The participants to today’s Conference also wished a swift recovery to the wounded and traumatized.
The participants have commended the remarkable courage of first-responders, medical teams, search and rescue teams and all Lebanese and international personnel dispatched in Beirut to assist the victims and provide emergency efforts, notably the Lebanese Red Cross and Lebanese civil defense teams.
The international community, Lebanon’s closest friends and partners, will not let Lebanese people down.
The participants decided to act resolutely in solidarity to help Beirut and the Lebanese people overcome the consequences of the August 4th tragedy. They agreed to put together in the coming days and weeks major resources in order to best answer the immediate needs of Beirut and the Lebanese people. As assessed by the United Nations, needs are particularly visible in the medical and health sector, education, food sector and urban rehabilitation, which will be prioritized in international emergency assistance programs.
The participants agreed that their assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people, well-coordinated under the leadership of the United Nations, and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency.
Assistance for an impartial, credible and independent inquiry on the explosion of August 4th is immediately needed and available, upon request of Lebanon.
Further to emergency assistance, partners stand ready to support the economic and financial recovery of Lebanon, which requires, as part of a stabilization strategy, that Lebanese authorities fully commit themselves to timely measures and reforms expected by the Lebanese people.
In these horrendous times, Lebanon is not alone. The international community, including Lebanon’s most crucial partners gathered together with France and the United Nations, standing alongside Beirut and the Lebanese people, and will continue to do their utmost to answer to their most urgent needs.
Statement made by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs (August 5, 2020)
The day after the terrible explosions which plunged Beirut into mourning, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs spoke this morning to his counterpart, Mr Charbel Wehbe.
M. Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated to him his deep shock and sorrow in the face of this tragedy. It is in times of ordeal and suffering that one recognizes one’s friends, and in this new ordeal France stands by Lebanese people, as it always has done and always will do. The Minister reiterated his condolences to the victims’ families and wished the many injured people a swift recovery.
The Minister signalled France’s full mobilization to lend assistance to Lebanon, at the Lebanese Government’s request. As from today, French assistance is being sent and will arrive in Beirut in the afternoon on several planes, including two French armed forces military planes, carrying a sécurité civile [emergency services] detachment, emergency medical staff and a mobile medical unit, all made available by the Interior Ministry and allowing 500 injured people to be cared for. Lebanon and Lebanese people know they can count on France at this difficult time./.