Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
Acting Deputy Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
August 10, 2020
The U.S. Government and the American people extend our deepest condolences to all those affected by this tragic event. We stand in solidarity with the people of Lebanon during this difficult time.
The Lebanese people are among the most generous in the world. Over the last decade they have welcomed over 1 million refugees from Syria. And now, we are committed to do all we can to help the Lebanese people in their hour of need. We recognize the urgent requirements for emergency medical support, shelter materials, psychosocial support, food assistance and much more in the coming days.
On Friday, the U.S. announced $17 million in funding for the emergency response. These funds bring the humanitarian aid provided by the American people in Lebanon since September 2019 to a total of $403 million. Initial U.S. aid includes six international emergency health kits that can support 60,000 people for three months. Our aid will also provide emergency food assistance for 50,000 households for three months. In addition to this first contribution, a U.S. team of disaster response experts has been deployed and is providing assistance in support of the Government of Lebanon and coordination with the United Nations. We appreciate the UN’s immediate release of money from the Central Emergency Response Funds and Lebanon Country Based Pooled Funds.
The United States has long been a close partner with Lebanon, providing nearly $4.9 billion in bilateral assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $187 million for health assistance. The U.S. recently provided $41.6 million to bolster Lebanon’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our long-standing support to university hospitals in Lebanon included Rizk Hospital at the Lebanese American University and the American University of Beirut Medical Center. Both are serving as main triage centers for victims of the explosion. These hospitals have already allocated space and resources for the response to the pandemic of COVID-19, especially for Lebanon’s most-vulnerable communities.
In the days and weeks ahead, I want the Lebanese people to know that the United States stands with them. We will remain committed to helping Lebanon recover from this tragedy.