During the virtual international conference opened on August 4, 2021, one year to the day after the explosion of the port of Beirut at the initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron and in coordination with the UN and in the presence of his counterparts including General Michel Aoun, and representatives of Lebanese civil society.
Emmanuel Macron recalled his trip to Beirut, 2 days after the tragedy, and expressed his thoughts to the population.
He recalled that an aid conference had already taken place and immediate humanitarian aid was implemented to respond to the emergency situation on site in the areas of health, food and even ‘accommodation. These promises have even been exceeded, notes the head of state.
Since then, this aid has continued, in particular with the arrival of a shipment of 51 tonnes of medical equipment was sent to Lebanon and should be followed by the arrival of a shipment from tomorrow.
However, the situation has since deteriorated.
In question, believes Emmanuel Macron, the economic, financial and social crisis already present, the drama of August 4 having further exacerbated a situation already made difficult. Since then, the crisis has even turned to food.
It is therefore a question of setting up a concrete program for the Lebanese population, underlines Emmanuel Macron, starting from the real needs identified by the United Nations.
100 million new commitments will be put in place by France, in the fields of education with support for families, pupils and students, of food with special support for agriculture, in the field of health with sending 500,000 doses of vaccines in the coming weeks.
The reconstruction of the port of Beirut, described by Emmanuel Macron as the lung of Lebanon, is also mentioned.
Direct support to the Lebanese population
This aid must be transparent and traceable, and will go directly to the NGOs and associations on the spot which compensate for the deficiencies of the State.
Regular feedback will be put in place.
The role of the Lebanese army is also commended for the implementation of this program.
Monitoring of World Bank loans for $ 246 million or the allocation of $ 860 million from the IMF for Lebanon under special titling rights should make it possible to set up a social safety net in accordance with the mechanisms of the G7 and G20.
The Lebanese political class questioned
Welcoming the freedom fighter yesterday and current President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron directly addressed the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, present at the conference to once again denounce the political class as a whole.
The crisis in Lebanon is not a stroke of fate or inevitability. It is the result of individual and collective bankruptcies and unjustifiable operations. It results from all the failures of a model that has turned away from the public good and the general interest.Emmanuel Macron, August 4, 2021
The Lebanese political class – the entire Lebanese political class, insists Emmanuel Macron – has put its partisan political interests before those of the Lebanese people.
France has assumed its responsibilities, underlines the French president referring in particular to the CEDRE conference which raised 11 billion dollars, but did not have any answers on the Lebanese side concerning the reforms to be carried out and the modernization of local structures.
Since all the appointments were missed, no commitment was kept. (…) Lebanon deserves better than to live on international solidarity.Emmanuel Macron, August 4, 2021
The French head of state thus called for forming a government by finding the necessary compromises and implementing the roadmap revealed a year ago.
Emmanuel Macron stressed that today’s conference is humanitarian and therefore unconditional. However, “ no blank check will be granted for the benefit of the Lebanese political system “, described as from the start of the crisis” and even before “failing.
France will remain demanding.
“ Lebanese leaders seem to be betting on rotting “, regrets Emmanuel Macron, whom he describes as a historical and moral fault. Restrictive measures will be put in place against personalities involved in corruption cases or political blocking. A sanctions regime was thus created within the European framework, recalls the French head of state, who stresses that Lebanese leaders must not doubt the determination of the international community to obtain a government, reforms but also results. concrete within the framework of the investigation of the Port of Beirut.
“The Lebanese leaders owe the truth to the people.”
On this subject, Emmanuel Macron recalls that France has provided all the information at its disposal.
Finally, it will be a question of organizing the legislative elections of May 2022.