Beirut Blast — Pope Francis, US First To Send Aid

  • The aid was sent through the Apostolic Nunciature of Beirut.
  • The United States today announced the immediate shipment of $15 million (€ 13 million) in food and medicine aid to Lebanon.
  • USAID has already allocated $41.6 million (€36.5 million) to Lebanon to help fight the pandemic of COVID-19.

Pope Francis today sent the first aid of €250,000 to Lebanon “to meet the needs of the Lebanese Church in these times of difficulty and suffering.” The donation “is intended as a sign of His Holiness’s attention and closeness to the affected population and of his fatherly closeness to people in serious difficulty.”

Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.

The Vatican released a statement to that effect today. The aid was sent through the Apostolic Nunciature of Beirut, and is intended to support those affected by the devastating and deadly explosions recorded Tuesday in the port of the Lebanese capital. According to the most recent data, the blast resulted in 154 deaths and more than 5,000 injured, leaving 120 of them in serious condition.

The explosions destroyed entire neighborhoods in the Lebanese capital, leaving more than 300,000 people homeless, with about 100 missing.

On Wednesday, the Pope asked the world to pray for Lebanon following the tragedy and implored the international community to help the Lebanese during this difficult moment.

In Beirut, local authorities are continuing with rescue efforts in the areas most affected by the explosion, around the port, looking for survivors.

US to Send $15 Million in Food Aid and Medicine

The United States today announced the immediate shipment of $15 million (€ 13 million) in food and medicine aid to Lebanon, three days after the violent explosions at the port of Beirut.

The aid, which will be delivered locally by the US military, amounts to up to three months of food for 50,000 people and up to three months of medicine for 60,000 people, the United States International Aid Agency (USAid) said in a statement.

The American army had already announced, on Thursday, that it had delivered to the Lebanese a first shipment of food, water and medicines. Others will go aboard military C-17 planes chartered from a base in Qatar.

The USAID stressed in the document that has already allocated $41.6 million (€36.5 million) to Lebanon to help fight the pandemic of COVID-19.

On the evening of 4 August 2020, at 18:08 EEST, multiple explosions occurred in the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The main explosion was linked to approximately 2,750 tonnes (3,030 short tons) of ammonium nitrate that had been confiscated by the government from an abandoned ship and stored in the port without proper safety measures for the previous six years.

Two successive heavy explosions rocked Beirut on Tuesday, causing at least 154 deaths and about 5,000 injuries, according to the latest assessment by Lebanese authorities.

Up to 300,000 people are said to have been homeless due to the explosions, according to Lebanese capital governor Marwan Abboud

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab revealed that about 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was stored in the exploding Beirut port depot.

The tragedy hit the country experiencing a serious economic crisis, marked by an unprecedented devaluation of its currency, hyperinflation, and mass layoffs.

It has been aggravated by the pandemic of the new coronavirus, which forced the authorities to confine the population for three months.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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