The United Nations launched an appeal for $565 million in assistance for Lebanon on Friday, 10 days after the deadly explosion that devastated the city of Beirut.
The money will be earmarked mainly for reconstruction efforts, following a first phase that focused on providing humanitarian relief in the capital.
It will go towards rehabilitating hospitals and schools and providing shelter for people rendered homeless following the huge explosion on 4 August at the port, where tonnes of ammonium nitrate were stocked. Over 171 people died, and some 6,500 others were wounded in the disaster.
“The task of rebuilding people’s lives and recovering from the devastation is only just beginning,” said Najat Rochdi, a UN humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon.
She urged the international community to show its “steadfast commitment” to the Lebanese people and to repay “Lebanon’s incredible generosity to Syrian and Palestinian refugees with full financial support” for the appeal.
The Beirut disaster laid bare the corruption and mismanagement perpetrated by Lebanese political officials, sparking massive street protests that forced the government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab to tender its resignation.