Today is 9th August, 2020 and an International Conference on Assistance and Support to Lebanon was called and held in the French capital, Paris. At the invitation of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres the blessed Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani participated in the Paris conference via video. Other world leaders participated also in this historic humanitarian conference.
The capital of Lebanob, Beirut was hit by devastating explosion on 4th August, 2020, and since then a series of strong aftershocks has followed. The damage is severe and catastrophic. It is estimated that at least 130 dead and more than 300, 000 injured, according to media reports.
As immediate needs are met and the humanitarian relief operation continues, with Qatar at the forefront, the Lebanese government is struggling to restore the institutions needed for it to function, ensure political stability, and address long-term reconstruction and development planning.
We bring below the unofficial translation of the powerful speech of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Al-Thani, which was delivered to the conference participants via video:
In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to extend many thanks to our dear friend Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic of France, and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for their invitation to hold this important conference which comes amid extremely grave conditions that the brotherly Lebanon is going through and facing many difficulties. There is no doubt that the convening of this important conference reflects the international community’s resolve to stand beside Lebanon to overcome the catastrophe caused by the terrible explosion in Beirut’s port.
We are all aware of the scale of this catastrophe and the tragic and dire situation that the Lebanese people are experiencing as a result of this explosion, in which dozens of victims have lost their lives and thousands others were injured, as well as the massive destruction of buildings and properties and the exacerbation of economic and financial challenges.
Lebanon cannot get over this dire circumstance on its own. Facing this crisis and overcoming its dangerous negative repercussions depends on strengthening national unity, unifying and intensifying governmental and societal efforts in Lebanon and providing all necessary forms of aid, from relief to restoration and reconstruction, by the international community.
The eyes of the brotherly Lebanese people are looking forward to the outcome of this conference, and we appeal to the international community, with all its components, states and organizations, to provide urgent financial assistance and contributions that help Lebanon to overcome the agonizing circumstances it is going through. Dialogue on the internal issues is to be set aside for the Lebanese people's awareness, consciousness and living powers.
In this context, the State of Qatar, in response to what is made imperative on it by its humanitarian duty and the ensuing solidarity from the bonds of brotherhood, and in fulfillment of its duty and commitment to support Lebanon, we will announce in the coming days our contribution to the reconstruction of Beirut through the projects that will be adopted. In the meantime, we, in terms of people and institutions, quickly responded to the call of the brothers in Lebanon and provided urgent relief aid to them that is worth the sum of fifty million dollars as a contribution to the relief operations and alleviation of the suffering of the Lebanese people and overcoming their extremely difficult circumstances. We have also sent an equipped team from the Qatari International Search and Rescue Group and established field hospitals.
In conclusion, I hope that this conference will achieve its desired goals.
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you! END!
Fatmata B. Bangura
Acting Prgramme Coordinator
Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Foundation (STBHF)
For and on behalf of volunteers of the Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Foundation (STBHF)