Aug 4, 2021 - World

Biden pledges $100M in aid to Lebanon on anniversary of Beirut blast

President Biden pledged nearly $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon on Wednesday, the first anniversary of a port explosion that killed more than 200 people and injured thousands of others in the country's capital of Beirut.

Why it matters: Biden urged Lebanon's leaders to reform the country's economy and crack down on corruption after more than a year of economic and political instability.

  • No senior official has been held accountable for the blast, which was caused by a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port for years.

What he's saying: Biden said the new $100 million pledge adds to $560 million that the U.S. has provided to Lebanon over the last two years, and he urged other leaders around the world to increase their assistance to Lebanon.

  • "On this day of mourning, I send my deepest condolences to all those who were injured or lost loved ones and all those still struggling to recover from this trauma," Biden said.
  • "We also recognize that the people of Lebanon have suffered more over the past year because of an avoidable political and economic crisis."
  • "No amount of outside assistance will ever be enough if Lebanon's own leaders do not commit to do the hard but necessary work of reforming the economy and combatting corruption. It's essential, and it has to start now."
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