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Italian govt, NGOs mull humanitarian response in Lebanon

14 agosto 2020 | 18.43
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Rome, 14 August (AKI)

Deputy foreign minister Emanuela Del Re on Friday chaired a meeting with Italian NGOs to get their input the response to the humanitarian crisis in Lebanon following the devastating blast at Beirut's port last week, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

NGO representatives at the meeting mulled with Del Re the timing and modus operandi of Italy's contribution to the international emergency response plan and its future humanitarian and development strategy in Lebanon, the statement said.

"Civil society organisations are key elements of Italy's overseas aid. Their contribution to the Italian response to the Lebanon emergency is an added value for us," said Del Re.

NGOs need to "further increase the already significant coordination on the ground by making critical mass", she added.

"The latest serious emergency in Beirut must not overshadow the needs of the most vulnerable groups of the population throughout Lebanon, starting with access to services, such as education, and the protection of rights, with a view to an overall response to the political and financial crisis as well as regional crises," Del Re underlined.

Del Re will chair next week a table for the coordination of Italian humanitarian aid in bankrupt Lebanon with the participation of public and private stakeholders, according to the statement.

Italy has already arranged several airlifts to Lebanon of essential medical items and also sent teams of experts to help local authorities following the huge 4 August blast that killed at least 200 people and injured around 5,000 others.

Lebanon's caretaker premier, Hassan Diab, blamed the detonation on 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that he said had been stored unsafely since 2014 at a warehouse in the port.

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