Lebanese police fired tear gas to try to disperse protesters throwing a street near Parliament in Beirut on Sunday in the second day of anti-government demonstrations sparked by last week’s devastating blast.
International leaders joined a virtual donors’ conference led by France and the United Nations in the aftermath of the devastating bombing in the port of Beirut, pledging nearly $ 300 million in humanitarian aid to be “delivered directly to the Lebanese population”.
- US President Donald Trump has announced that the US will provide “substantial”; assistance Lebanon, although he did not specify how much.
The International Monetary Fund said it was ready to redouble its efforts to help Lebanon following the devastating blast that struck Beirut, but said all of the country’s institutions needed to show readiness to carry out reforms.
- Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad announced her resignation, saying the government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab failed to meet the aspirations of the people. Shortly afterwards, 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 10th
04:20 GMT – Nine Lebanese MPs, two ministers resign from the government
Nine members of parliament and two ministers have so far resigned from their positions in Lebanon, according to an Al Jazeera report.
Manal Abdel Samad, the minister of information, and Damianos Kattar, the minister of environment, resigned from their post on Sunday, as the government comes under great pressure after the deadly explosion in Beirut on Tuesday.
So far, 9 MPs and 2 ministers have resigned since the #Beirut, #Lebanon bombings
Manal Abdel Samad, information
Damianos Kattar, Environment
– Saad (@SaadAbedine) August 9, 2020
04:04 GMT – The Beirut eruption creates a 43-meter-deep crater
The huge eruptions that hit the Lebanese capital Beirut last Tuesday and claimed 158 lives left a 43-meter-deep crater in the country, according to local reports.
The blasts at Beirut port also injured more than 6,000 people, devastated a major storm and destroyed about half of the city’s buildings. The large crater lies near the ruined saw, filled with seawater.
02:15 GMT – Trump vows ‘substantial’ aid to Lebanon
US President Donald Trump has vowed that his administration will provide “substantial” assistance to Lebanon, though he did not provide details.
“On a humanitarian basis, we have to do it. We have to do it. It’s, you know, you can almost say how a country survives such a tragedy? they, is at a level we have never seen before. “
An emergency donor conference on Sunday raised promises worth nearly 253m euros ($ 298m) for immediate humanitarian assistance.
02:05 GMT – Beirut governor says many bodies still unidentified by port blast
Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud has said some foreign workers and truck driver remain missing after the massive explosion and are presumed dead.
In an interview with Al Jadeed television station, Abboud added that many of the deaths from the blast are still unidentified, and that it might take time to complete the identification of the wreckage.
According to reports, about 45 of the more than 158 confirmed people killed in the blast were Syrian nationals working in the service sector in the country.
Sunday, August 9th
20:37 GMT – The head of the IMF renews the call for reforms
Kristalina Georgieva, head of the International Monetary Fund, warned Lebanon again that it would not borrow from the institution unless it reformed its government.
“The current and future generations of Lebanese should not be saddled with more debt than they can ever pay,” she said during the conference of promises.
That is why she said the IMF requires “debt sustainability as a condition for loans”, adding that “the financial system must also be solvent”.
19:32 GMT – Minister of Environment withdraws
Environment Minister Damianos Kattar said in a statement that he was retiring, becoming the second minister to leave the blast.
“In light of the extraordinary catastrophe … I have decided to resign from the government,” Kattar said, adding that he had lost hope in a “sterile regime that blew up some possibilities.”
19:21 GMT – Will the explosion cause a humanitarian catastrophe?
Lebanon was in a bad state even before the big explosion that destroyed most of Beirut.
The government is bankrupt, the currency is almost worthless, and millions of Lebanese are unemployed. The blast made matters worse by destroying the main port for a nation heavily dependent on food imports.
Some 300,000 homeless people in Beirut have received little help from the government. Lebanon is also home to 1.5 million Syrian refugees.
How will organizations deal with the challenge of organizing aid?
Find out more here or check out Inside Story below.
18:14 GM – Aid Summit raises $ 300 million to give ‘directly’ to people
A host of nations have pledged nearly $ 300 million in humanitarian aid to Lebanon at a conference aimed at boosting international support for the crisis-stricken country.
The money will be transferred through the UN, international organizations and NGOs, rather than the Lebanese government – in line with the demands of a large Lebanese public, who fear funding will be lost in corruption.
Read more here.
16:07 GMT – Demonstrators throw stones at police on the second day of protests
Protesters hurled stones at security forces blocking a road near the Lebanese parliament on a second day of anti-government protests.
The Reuters news agency reported that hundreds were converging on a main square, where thousands of Lebanese protested on Saturday against a political elite they blame for the country’s economic and political problems.
“We want to destroy and kill the government. They gave us neither jobs nor rights,” said Nissan Ghrawi, a 19-year-old unemployed demonstrator.
On Saturday, more than 700 protesters were injured in clashes with rebel police who used tear gas and live ammunition in an attempt to disperse the crowd.