Lebanese police fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse stone-throwing protesters blocking a road near Parliament in Beirut on Sunday in a second day of anti-government protests sparked by last week’s devastating explosion.
International leaders joined 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 aid that will be “delivered directly to the Lebanese population ”.
- US President Donald Trump has announced that the United States will provide “substantial” aid to Lebanon, although he did not specify how much.
The International Monetary Fund has said it is ready to redouble its efforts to help Lebanon after the devastating explosion that hit Beirut, but said all institutions in the country must show their commitment to reform.
- Lebanon’s Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad announced his resignation, saying the government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab was not living up to the aspirations of the people. Shortly after, Environment Minister Damianos Kattar also resigned from his post.
- At least 158 people were killed in Tuesday’s blast and more than 6,000 others were injured.
Here are the latest updates:
Monday August 10
04:20 GMT – Nine Lebanese MPs, two ministers resign from the government
Nine parliamentarians and two ministers have so far resigned from their posts in Lebanon, according to an Al Jazeera tally.
Manal Abdel Samad, the Minister of Information, and Damianos Kattar, the Minister of the Environment resigned from their posts on Sunday, the government under heavy pressure following the deadly explosion in Beirut on Tuesday.
So far, 9 MPs and 2 ministers have resigned since the explosions of #Beirut, #Liban
Manal Abdel Samad, information
Damianos Kattar, Environment
– Saad (@SaadAbedine) 9 août 2020
04:04 GMT – Beirut explosion creates crater 43 meters deep
Huge explosions that hit the Lebanese capital Beirut last Tuesday and left 158 people dead left a 43-meter-deep crater at the site, local reports said.
Explosions in the port of Beirut also injured more than 6,000 people, destroyed a large granary and devastated around half of the buildings in the city. The huge crater is located near the destroyed attic, filled with seawater.
02:15 GMT – Trump promises “substantial” aid to Lebanon
US President Donald Trump has vowed his administration will provide “substantial” aid to Lebanon, although he did not provide details.
“On a humanitarian basis, we have to do it. We need to. It’s you know, you can almost tell how a country survives such a tragedy? It was at a level that people there said, 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 remain unidentified after port explosion
Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud said several foreign workers and truck drivers were still missing in the mass explosion and are believed to have died.
In an interview with Al Jadeed TV station, Abboud added that many deaths from the blast remain unidentified and identifying the remains could take time.
According to reports, around 45 of the more than 158 people who were killed in the blast were Syrian nationals working in the service sector in the country.
Sunday August 9
8:37 p.m. GMT – IMF chief renews his call for reforms
Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the International Monetary Fund, has again warned Lebanon that it will not get any loans from the institution unless it reforms its government.
“Current and future generations of Lebanese must not be grappling with more debt than they can ever repay,” she said at the pledging conference.
That is why she said the IMF requires “debt sustainability as a condition of lending”, adding that “the financial system must also be solvent”.
19:32 GMT – Minister of the Environment resigns
Environment Minister Damianos Kattar said in a statement he was resigning, becoming the second minister to resign following the explosion.
“In light of the huge catastrophe… I decided to postpone my resignation from the government,” Kattar said, adding that he had lost hope in a “sterile regime that slammed several opportunities”.
19:21 GMT – Will an explosion cause a humanitarian catastrophe?
Lebanon was in a dire state even before the massive explosion that destroyed much of Beirut.
The government is bankrupt, the currency is almost worthless and millions of Lebanese are unemployed. The explosion made matters worse by destroying the main port of a country heavily dependent on food imports.
Some 300,000 homeless people in Beirut have received little government assistance. Lebanon is also home to 1.5 million Syrian refugees.
How will humanitarian organizations meet the challenge?
Learn more here or watch Inside Story below.
6:14 pm GM – Aid Summit Raises $ 300 Million To Give ‘Direct’ To People
A large number of countries pledged nearly $ 300 million in humanitarian aid to Lebanon at a conference aimed at rallying international support for the crisis-stricken country.
The funds will be channeled through the UN, international organizations and NGOs, rather than the Lebanese government – in line with demands from large sections of the Lebanese population who fear that the funds will be lost due to corruption.
Learn more here.
16:07 GMT – Protesters throw stones at police on second day of protests
Protesters threw stones at security forces blocking a road near the Lebanese parliament on a second day of protests against the government.
Reuters news agency reported that hundreds of people converged on a main square where thousands of Lebanese demonstrated on Saturday against a political elite they blame for the country’s economic and political woes.
“We want to destroy and kill the government. They gave us neither jobs nor rights, ”said Nissan Ghrawi, a 19-year-old jobless protester.
On Saturday, more than 700 protesters were injured in clashes with riot police who used tear gas and live ammunition in an attempt to disperse the crowds.