The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, announced the provision of medical equipment to Lebanon, following the explosion which devastated Beirut.
“Ireland sends its deepest sympathies to all of those affected by the terrible explosion in Beirut, particularly those who have lost loved ones.
Ireland enjoys strong relations with Lebanon – it is a country where our peacekeepers have served with distinction since 1978. At this time of need, we stand in solidarity with Lebanon, and I have approved today the dispatch of much needed medical equipment and personal protective equipment.
This material, provided by the HSE and transported by the Defence Forces on board an Air Corps Casa, will greatly assist the efforts of the WHO in Lebanon as they coordinate the international health response to this disaster, as well as the ongoing threat of COVID-19.
The operation represents a significant and rapid cross-Government response involving the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces and the HSE.”
Minister of State for Overseas Development and the Diaspora, Colm Brophy, added:
“The explosion in Beirut comes on top of an existing economic and humanitarian crisis in Lebanon. In particular, Lebanon continues to generously host over 1.5 million Syrian refugees. Ireland has already provided over €3.5 million in humanitarian funding in 2020, part of which is now being repurposed to cope with the implications of the explosion. This is part of over €30 million in humanitarian funding provided to Lebanon since 2014.
As Beirut begins to rebuild and recover from this disaster, I want to assure the people of Lebanon of Ireland’s continued solidarity and support.”
12 August 2020
Notes to Editors - The medical equipment and personal protective equipment is being provided by the HSE, and transported by the Defence Forces. It will be provided through the World Health Organisation in Lebanon, which is coordinating international health assistance to the country.
The HSE have carried out an assessment of available PPE stocks in Ireland, and concluded that the provision of this shipment to Lebanon would not create any supply difficulties in Ireland.
Lebanon hosts over 1.5 million Syrian refugees, as well as a population of Palestinian refugees. Ireland is providing €3.5 million in 2020 to the Lebanese Humanitarian fund, UNRWA and Irish NGOs (Concern and Trócaire).
Ireland also provides pre-positioned emergency funding to respond to sudden disasters. Ireland provided €10 million to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, and €1 million to the IFRC’s Disaster Response Emergency Fund in 2020. The CERF has released €6 million to Lebanon, while the DREF has disbursed €700,000 to assist the response to the Beirut explosion.
As an EU member state, Ireland also contributes to the collective EU response. The EU has announced €33 million in additional funding for Lebanon, as well as the deployment of specialists to assist the immediate response.