European Union External Action

“The people in Lebanon can count on the European Union”

10/08/2020 - 16:32
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At the international conference on assistance and support to Beirut and the Lebanese people on 9 August, chaired by France and the United Nations, the European Commission pledged a new funding worth €30 million to help address the immediate needs of those affected by the deadly explosion in Beirut on 4 August. This comes on top of the €33 million already announced by President von der Leyen in her phone call on 6 August with the Lebanese President.

President of the European Council Charles Michel and EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič presented the EU at the international conference. Commissioner Lenarčič said: “The EU has been helping Lebanon since immediately after the explosion, mobilising hundreds of search and rescue experts and sending medical aid to Beirut. I thank all European countries that have put solidarity into action. As needs rise we are providing humanitarian support to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people.”

The new EU humanitarian funding will be channelled to UN agencies, NGOs and international organisations and be strictly monitored. This assistance will benefit hundreds of thousands of the most affected people to cover essential needs.

The EU is a leading supporter of Lebanon, providing over €2.3 billion of assistance since 2011, including over €660 million in humanitarian aid.

EU emergency response in Beirut, Lebanon

The funding announced on 9 August, comes on top of ongoing EU emergency operations, which include:

  • some 300 highly trained experts from the EU and its Member States were deployed through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, including search and rescue, chemical assessment and medical teams;
  • in-kind assistance consisting of urgently medical equipment and supplies, chemical protection suits;
  • a military vessel with helicopter capacity for medical evacuation, and medical and protective equipment;
  • the activation of the Copernicus Satellite mapping system to help assess the extent of the damage.

Visit to Lebanon by President Michel

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, travelled to Beirut on 8 August 2020 to convey EU solidarity with the people in Lebanon after the devastating explosions on 4 August.

The President visited the Port of Beirut to witness the scale of the disaster. He called for an independent enquiry to shed light on the causes of this catastrophe and offered European expertise. During his visit, President Michel met with representatives of the Lebanese Red Cross and paid his respect to the rescue teams, including Europeans, working around the clock and showing tremendous courage.

More Information:

Speech by President Michel at the international conference on assistance and support to Beirut

Intervention by EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič at the international donors conference for Beirut and in support of the Lebanese people

"The people in Lebanon can count on the European Union" - press release following President Charles Michel's visit to Beirut (8 August 2020)