Canada provides $5 million in aid to Beirut after fatal explosion

Aug 6 2020, 6:36 am

Canada is providing $5 million in humanitarian aid in response to the fatal explosion that occurred in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4.

Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne and Minister of International Development Karina Gould, said an initial payment of $1.5 million will go immediately to “trusted” humanitarian partners on the ground including the Lebanese Red Cross via the Canadian Red Cross Society.

This will “help meet the urgent needs of people affected by this crisis.”

Canada’s contribution will support emergency medical services and provide shelter, food and other essential items.

“Canada stands with the people of Lebanon in this tragedy and we are ready to assist however we can, as I have articulated in my two recent conversations with my Lebanese counterpart. This initial contribution will help meet the immediate, most urgent needs of those devastated by this explosion,” Champagne said in a statement.

The Global Affairs office noted that Canada will continue to closely monitor the situation and is in contact with humanitarian organizations in Beirut in order to better understand needs on the ground.

“Canada stands ready to provide additional assistance to respond to this terrible tragedy, as appropriate,” the office added.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added that “Canadians were shocked & deeply saddened” by the “devastating toll of Tuesday’s explosion in Beirut.”

“We mourn the tragic loss of life, and wish a full & quick recovery to the thousands who were injured. We are with you, and will be there to help you overcome this tragedy.”

On Tuesday, Lebanon’s President Michael Aoun has said the blast was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been stored unsafely in a warehouse at the city’s port, which killed at least 100 people and left an estimated 4,000 more injured, according to Amnesty International.

On August 5, an official three-day period of mourning was declared, as rescue workers continue to search through rubble for survivors.

Amnesty International is calling for an international investigation, “free from any potential domestic political interference” to ensure that there is truth, justice and reparations for the victims.

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