European Union to send 33 million euros of emergency aid

European Union to send 33 million euros of emergency aid
  • Clock-gray 19:27
  • calendar-gray 06 August 2020

The European Union (EU) will send 33 million euros of emergency aid to Lebanon, in addition to teams and technical means, following the explosions in the port of Beirut on Tuesday, the European Commission announced this Thursday, APA reports citing Jornal Economico.

In addition to the budget, promised by the president of the community executive, Ursula von der Leyen, in a telephone conversation with the Lebanese Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, the EU made available to Beirut teams specialized in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detection and a military helicopter vessel for medical evacuation, and medical and protective equipment.

The EU has already deployed more than 100 highly trained search and rescue firefighters, with vehicles, dogs and emergency medical equipment.

The amount that Brussels is mobilizing is intended to cover the first emergency needs, medical support and equipment, and protection of critical infrastructure, according to a statement, and greater support can be mobilized depending on the assessment of ongoing humanitarian needs.

The mobilization of experts and equipment was also announced to help assess the extent of damage and handle hazardous substances such as asbestos and other chemicals.

This can be important for civil structures, but also for the rehabilitation of the Port of Beirut.

Two successive heavy explosions rocked Beirut on Tuesday, causing at least 137 deaths and more than 5.000 injuries, according to the latest assessment by Lebanese authorities.

Up to 300.000 people are said to have been homeless due to the explosions, according to Lebanese capital governor Marwan Abboud.

The Portuguese government indicated on Tuesday that it had no indication that there were national citizens among the victims.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, sent a message to his Lebanese counterpart, Michel Aoun, expressing “condolences to the relatives of the mortal victims and wishes for a speedy recovery for all the wounded, as well as his solidarity with all the Lebanese people” .

The Portuguese Government also expressed solidarity with Lebanon and its people, adding that it will participate in the European Union's support plan.

Portuguese Civil Protection is ready to send up to four teams to Lebanon, Duarte Costa, commander of the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection, told Lusa. These will be teams fundamentally related to the response to medical emergencies, air analysis and activities in collapsed structures.

The violent explosions must have originated from explosive materials confiscated and stored for several years in the port of the Lebanese capital.

Hassan Diab, revealed that about 2.750 tons of ammonium nitrate were stored in the exploding Beirut port depot.

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