Italy is "closely following" events in Lebanon and will give unstinting support to the crisis-hit country's new government's attempts to improve the population's social and economic conditions.
"Italy is closely following the situation in Lebanon, has always shown closeness to the Lebanese population and will continue to provide its support in the future as well," foreign minister Luigi Di Maio told
The devastating explosion at the port of Beirut on 4 August 2020 contributed to worsening the economic and social crisis that the Coronavirus pandemic had already exacerbated, Di Maio said.
"The Mikati government's recent formation is only the first step on a path which promises to be a long and complex one in order to meet the legitimate aspirations of a population at the limits of endurance," he said.
Italy, like its European partners and the international community will judge the work of Lebanon's new executive by what it achieves, Di Maio stated.
"We will not fail to provide every possible support based on what it will actually do to improve the economic and social conditions of the Lebanese," he underlined.
Lebanon is a priority country for Italy's overseas aid department, which operates in the country in a range of areas, from education, health, food security, economic development and environmental protection, Di Maio noted.
Between 2018 and 2020, Italy allocated 61.1 million euros of aid to Lebanon, of which 35.4 million were for development programs and 25.7 million for humanitarian initiatives, he said.
"We attribute particular importance to initiatives in favour of refugees, especially Syrians as well as the most vulnerable Lebanese host communities."