Statement by Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the virtual aid conference for Lebanon
I will never forget seeing the destruction and witnessing people’s despair a few days after the explosion, when I visited Beirut last year.
Germany stood ready to help – as a friend and as Lebanon’s second-largest bilateral donor.
At the international conference organised by France last August, we provided 24 million euro.
And today, Germany is pledging an additional 40 million euro to support the people of Lebanon in these difficult times.
- 13 million euro are destined for humanitarian assistance.
- 10 million euro each will go to the Lebanon Financing Facility and the joint COVID-19 Emergency Response managed by the WHO and UNICEF.
- Another 7 million euro will help foster accountability, transparency and the involvement of civil society in a meaningful reform process. Because without reforms there will be no sustainable recovery.
The lack of reforms is also the reason why many of the wounds of the past are still open. The destroyed harbour remains a symbol of this.
Let me be frank: this crisis is mostly man-made.
Lebanese political actors have not lived up to their responsibilities and to the legitimate expectations of the Lebanese people.
Any further aid – beyond immediate relief and support for reforms – will therefore depend on the formation of a functioning, legitimate government and a credible reform programme – in line with IMF recommendations.
I urge all political forces in Lebanon to unite behind these goals now. There is no time to lose.
International support will depend on it.
But more importantly: the stability and prosperity of Lebanon will depend on it. And that is what we should all be working for.