Lebanese Belgians organise aid transport of 5,000 tonnes to Beirut
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    Lebanese Belgians organise aid transport of 5,000 tonnes to Beirut

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    A group of Belgians with Lebanese roots have gathered more than 5,000 tonnes of goods that will be transported to Beirut, at their own initiative.

    Last week, the team gathered thousands of household items that will leave for Lebanon’s capital on Monday night. These include baby diapers, clothing, furniture and cooking utensils, but also food products with a long shelf life such as rice and pasta.

    Pierre Hajjar and Fadia Farhat are amongst the organisers. Both are members of staff of the FBEV, a Belgian import-export company for vehicles.

    “My father’s apartment was completely destroyed,” Farhat told VRT. “Luckily, he himself was with us in Belgium. My husband’s cousin passed away. I can’t just do nothing.”

    In total, the goods will fill three trailers.

    Nearly two weeks after the deadly explosion that killed nearly 180 people, including two Belgians, emergency workers are still hard at work to clear the rubble. More than 6,000 were injured and hundreds of thousands lost their homes.

    According to the United Nations, Lebanon has been granted more than €500 million in medical care, food and emergency shelter.

    The European Commission sent €33 million in aid, and many member states organised individual actions or contributed to the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism to help Beirut.

    Belgium deployed its special emergency aid team B-Fast for on the ground assistance.

    Amée Zoutberg
    The Brussels Times