Norwegian Refugee Council’s Lebanon Country Director Carlo Gherardi’s reaction to the outcome of the aid conference co-organised by the UN and France for the explosion response in Beirut, 9 August 2020
“The funding pledged for the Beirut explosion response today at the international pledging conference is needed now more than ever. The explosion is a catastrophe that comes at a time when the country is already on its knees. Over the past nine months, political turmoil, an unprecedented economic crisis and the Covid-19 outbreak have had an enormous negative impact on the cost of living, the availability of essential goods, food and healthcare, businesses and employment. It will take years for Lebanon to recover from this disaster and the pre-existing crises. The priority now is for donors to disburse funding swiftly so local responders can deliver the aid to those who need it the most and scale up assistance.
“We also welcome calls for structural reforms. This will allow the international support to have a long-term impact on the Lebanese and vulnerable refugee population. We hope the voices of the most vulnerable are heard in this tragic moment and that the money raised can help Lebanon overcome these extremely difficult times and recover.” -- Carlo Gherardi, NRC Country Director, Lebanon